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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Wicked: 15th Anniversary | Celebrating the incredible men who have played Fiyero!

Wicked has established itself as one of the biggest and best West End shows, originally opening on Broadway in 2003 it headed over here and opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in 2006. Today we're celebrating 15 years of the show, and after the slight 'pause' the show has taken, it's come back better than ever and what a good time to celebrate its Birthday! In this piece, we look back at all the wickedly talented Women who have played Glinda in the UK. From the London production to the tours! Which one was your favourite?!

Wicked in London

Adam Garcia 
September 7 2006 - July 14 2007

Oliver Tompsett 
July 16 2017 - March 27 2010

Lewis Bradley 
March 29 2010 - May 8 2010 

Lee Mead 
May 10 2010 - February 5 2011


Thursday, 16 August 2018

FEATURE: When understudies save the day!

Understudies are a vital part of what keeps shows all across the world going every night. Over the past few years, we've had stories all over the press about understudies taking on lead roles in extreme circumstances and absolutely smashing it. Here are just a few of the recent stories we love (All with happy endings!), we'd like to thank these performers for not only being amazing but also taking the time to chat to us briefly for this article. And make sure to check out the bottom of the page with a breakdown of the past understudies who are astounding audiences all across the UK every night! 

Jennifer Caldwell 

When sickness hits a cast, sometimes dramatic solutions have to happen! Knights of the Rose, a new musical running at the Arts Theatre, had a wave of sickness in the cast and when an understudy is already covering someone else, whats happens?! Jennifer Caldwell was working in the Box Office and was asked for help from the Producer, she agreed to go on at 7pm and by 7.30pm was on stage! 

"When the producer asked if I could possibly step up and perform in the show I was, I think it's safe to say, apprehensive, however, adrenaline and excitement took over pretty quickly. 

The company I had around me are some of the most talented people you could ever meet which could have made things pretty daunting, but, everyone was incredibly supportive and made it so easy to slot in to the show. I couldn't wish for a better group of people to be around."

She has now been made a permanent member of the cast and features as a swing. 

"I think, as performers, we should always be willing to accept any challenge as, in such an unpredictable industry, you never know if this kind of opportunity could arise again."

Steph Parry

Steph recently finished playing Donna in Mamma Mia on the Royal Caribbean before landing the role of the standby for Dorothy Black and Maggie Jones in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She was called upon when Mamma Mia (at the Novello Theatre) needed someone to step in mid show for the lead role, Donna, when the understudy suffered a serious injury. 

"It was such a surreal night, there was a moment just before I stepped out onstage where I thought “what the hell am I about to do?!” But I walked out to such a huge cheer from the audience that I instantly knew they were behind me and it felt so awesome!" 

She completed the show to great acclaim and was promoted from stand by to lead as Dorothy Black in 42nd Street.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Bradley Jaden, currently playing Fiyero in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

Bradley is currently playing Fiyero in the London production of WICKED after having played the role in the international tour of the show earlier this year. His other credits include ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (Queen’s and 30th Anniversary cast), ‘Freddie’ in My Fair Lady 60th Anniversary Celebration (St Paul’s Actors Church), Ghost the Musical (No 1 UK Tour) and Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). He took time out his busy 8 show week schedule and health regime to give us an insight to his life in the smash hit musical. 

You’ve transferred into the London production of Wicked after playing Fiyero in the UK and International tour. What happened when you got the offer to come into town with the show? 

It was a bit of a dream really because when I agreed to do the international tour it wasn’t finishing until January 2018 so to have the opportunity to audition for the town production was out of mind and wasn’t even on my radar, and Oliver Saville was doing such a wonderful job, I don’t think they wanted to lose him so I didn’t even think it was on the cards! So, when I found out there was a chance I could audition for it, of course I wanted to jump on it. 

So you had to go back through the audition process again?

Of course, anything can happen over a year: you can become lazy and complacent and the creative team didn’t want that to then transpire from tour to town and they want to make sure they’re getting the best and if there’s someone else out there that can do it much better than you, I don’t think just because you’ve played the role somewhere doesn’t mean it’s a given you can play it somewhere else. 

Looking back on your time in the show, how has you Fiyero changed? 

I think it changes every night, I’m so pleased I get to work with some incredible actors in the ensemble and the two witches. The girls I had on tour were absolutely incredible but different to the ones who are equally incredible in town. The character relationships have changed and even little things like the set, because it was a touring set, so slightly different little actions and movements can make such an impact on a scene so it has completely changed. I think I’ve got a little more confident in the old dance moves, 'Dancing Through Life' still to this day scares the life out of me. Hopefully we're trying every night to change it and not keep it stale but it definitely has developed from our opening night in Bradford. 
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