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Monday, 26 November 2018

INTERVIEW: Gemma Sutton, soon to star in the title role in Aladdin at the Hackney Empire

Gemma Sutton is one of the most talked about West End leading ladies of the moment, having starred in numerous musicals over the years. She is now taking on the title role in the Hackney Empires 20th Anniversary Pantomime, Aladdin before heading off to the National Theatre to play Young Sally in Folles. Just some of her credits include Charity in Sweet Charity (Watermill Theatre), Angel in The Rink (Southwark Playhouse), Fran in Strictly Ballroom (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Princess of Wales Theatre), The Go-Between (Apollo Theatre), Louise & June in Gypsy (Savoy Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre),   Julie Jordan in Carousel (Arcola Theatre), Roxie in Chicago (Leicester Curve), Amber in Hairspray (UK Tour), Sally in Me and My Girl (Kilworth House), Enid & Understudy Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre) and  Laurey in Oklahoma! (UK Tour).

You have had such a varied career, performing not only all over the country but around the world too. What’s been your favourite place you’ve visited with work?

I enjoyed my 10 weeks in Toronto, Canada in 2017 with Strictly Ballroom as it’s a very friendly place and because we were there for a while we really got to know the city. I also had a very interesting three weeks in Cairo, Egypt doing the first western musical ever seen there - The Sound of Music. It was in a tent in the desert and they dug an orchestra pit out of the sand, so it was a memorable experience to say the least. 

You started your career understudying in shows before really making your name as a true West End leading lady. What have you learnt from starting out that way that you’re proud of? 

I learned a great deal from understudying as it really allows you to observe from the sidelines, watching amazing leading performers work both on stage and in the rehearsal room and also how to lead a company well. I think it’s really important that there is a nice atmosphere in the company, particularly for long runs, and you have a responsibly as a leading performer to help that along. Everyone has a different start in the industry depending on circumstance but working your way up does give you a grounding to know that longevity requires patience and graft.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

THEN AND NOW: Chicago the Musical

Making its return to the West End stage, Chicago is one of the most famous musicals around the world. The show has attracted some very famous names to it including Ruthie Henshall (who is the only Woman to play all three leads), Bebe Neuwirth, Brandy, Jerry Springer, Mel B, Todrick Hall, Wendy Williams, Tase Diggs, Ashlee Simpson, Melanie Griffith, Patrick Swayze and most recently on the West End, Alexandra Burke. In this edition of 'Then And Now' we look back on the original Broadway production, the 1996 Broadway revival, the 2013 revival at the Leicester Curve, the current West End production and we also look back to numerous cast members who have featured in the West End run of the 1996 revival. Take a look and share your favourite moments of the show with us on Twitter! @PocketSizeBlog #PocketThenNow

Roxie Hart 

Gwen Verdon (1975), Ann Reinig (1996), Bonnie Langford (2006), Gemma Sutton (2013) & Sarah Soetaert (2018)
Velma Kelly 

Chita Rivera (1975), Bebe Neuwirth (1996), Leigh Zimmerman (2001), Verity Rushworth (2013) & Josefina Gabrielle (2018)

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

FIRST LOOK: The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse, starring Caroline O’Connor and Gemma Sutton

Caroline O’Connor and Gemma Sutton star as Anna and Angel in The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse, opening tonight, with Stewart Clarke, Ross Dawes, Michael Lin, Elander Moore, Ben Redfern and Jason Winter will play Dino, Lino, Lucky, Benny, Lenny and Tony respectively in the first London revival in 20 years of Kander and Ebb’s THE RINK. 

The new production of THE RINK will play at Southwark Playhouse for a limited season from 25 May to 23 June 2018, with a national press night on Tuesday 29 May. 

Anna, an Italian housewife who runs a roller-skating rink on the Eastern seaboard, is about to sell it to developers until her estranged daughter, Angel, returns after a long absence, hoping to save the rink and patch things up with her mother.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Gemma Sutton to star in The Watermill Theatre SWEET CHARITY, New Season announced

The Watermill Theatre’s new season, announced today by Artistic Director, Paul Hart, includes the funny and poignant musical SWEET CHARITY, and the premieres of three new plays, including TRIAL BY LAUGHTER, by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Booking opens on Monday 23 April with Friends of The Watermill priority booking from Monday 16 April.

Hart says: ‘With new plays, three London transfers and three Watermill productions on tour nationally, and one touring to local schools, our programme is ambitious and varied. We continue our commitment to championing new artists and work, and to taking our productions beyond The Watermill to an ever-increasing audience.’

Directed by Paul Hart, SWEET CHARITY will be brought up-to-date in a bold reimagining with Gemma Sutton as Charity. Gemma’s credits include Strictly Ballroom(West Yorkshire Playhouse/ The Princess of Wales Theatre), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), Gypsy (Savoy Theatre) and Carousel (Arcola Theatre). Sarah Travis, who has a long-standing association with The Watermill Theatre as orchestrator, musical supervisor and composer, returns to work alongside Charlie Ingles on the score by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, adapting it for a company of actor-musicians. Choreography will be by Tom Jackson Greaves whose recent credits include: Teddy (Watermill/The Vaults), Paint Your Wagon (Liverpool Everyman), Spring Awakening (Manchester Hope Mill).

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

FIRST LOOK: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Arcola Theatre

Voted the best musical of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, Carousel is the classic American musical, with a timeless score that includes the songs If I Loved You, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over and the iconic You’ll Never Walk Alone

Carousel features a brand new acoustic orchestration by Mark Cumberland with musical supervision from renowned orchestrator Larry Blank, who has recently been represented on Broadway by his Tony Award-nominated orchestrations of Catch Me If You Can, The Drowsy Chaperone and White Christmas, as well as Singin’ In The Rain, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof and The Producers in the West End. 

Carousel is directed by Luke Fredericks (Jekyll and Hyde) with choreography by Lee Proud (Hairspray, Leicester Curve), set and costume design by Stewart Charlesworth and lighting design by Catherine Webb. Musical arrangements and orchestrations are by Mark Cumberland, with musical supervision by Larry Blank and musical direction by Andrew Corcoran. Carousel is produced by Morphic Graffiti with creative consultancy by Kim Poster. Casting is by Ben Newsome. Presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.
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