Interview to Kerry Ellis, the first Elphaba in London

Picture from the Official Website of Kerry Ellis

Picture from the Official Website of Kerry Ellis

Kerry Ellis is one of the most important actresses in United Kingdom. All her life has been performing and playing music, playing lots of main roles in musicals in London and even Broadway. Her debut on stage was in 2001 with ‘My Fair Lady’, she was Eliza Doolittle. Then she met Brian May in 2002 and because of that she performed in the original cast of ‘We Will Rock You’. Since then, they have been working together and they still perform together some concerts.

In 2006 she was performing in ‘Wicked’. When the show opened in London, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, Idina Menzel was playing Elphaba, the main role, but Kerry Ellis was the alternate. Once Menzel left the show, Kerry Ellis took the character. She got lot of popularity and lot of people love her a lot because of this musical, the number of fans started to grow a lot. She was doing a great job so she was transferred to Broadway, where she performed as Elphaba again, but for the American audience in 2008.

Once she finished performing in ‘Wicked’ she had some more professional projects. She worked in ‘Oliver!’, ‘Rent’, ‘The War Of The Worlds’, ‘Cats’… In 2014 she came back to ‘Wicked’, replacing Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba for only 12 weeks. So, without doubt, the story of the green girl is very important for her career and I wanted to know a bit more about it. I’m sharing with you an interview that Kerry Ellis accepted to respond for me:

 

Cesar: Elphaba is such a wonderful character who changes a lot during the show. What did you enjoy the most about her journey?

Kerry Ellis: One of the best things about playing Elphaba is the journey she goes on. There are so many challenges with the character vocally, physically and emotionally it’s like running a marathon but the rewards are phenomenal.

 

C: After working in London playing Elphaba you were transferred to Broadway. How was the experience of working on the same show but in a different production?

KE: Lots of people think there is a great difference between London and New York. We kid is such an interactive show from the audience side that I didn’t think the differences with that great. It was obviously a dream of mine to play a role on Broadway and to get to play a role with such anticipation was a joy.

 

C: Last year you were back to ‘Wicked’ for 12 weeks only. How was the experience of going back to the show after so many years?

KE: Terrifying. However personally it was a real triumph for me to go back to Rowl after five years it was such a challenge but one I loved and conquered and embraced.

 

Picture from the Official Website of Kerry Ellis

Picture from the Official Website of Kerry Ellis

C: The ‘Defying Gravity’ scene it’s an extraordinary experience for the audience. How does it feel for an actress to sing up in the air?

KE: It’s funny really, when you’re in the harness you don’t seem as high as it looks from the audience. It’s obviously riveting because I get to see the audience spaces for the first time in the show and to see all those smiles and excited faces is pure magic.

 

C: What does it ‘Wicked’ means to you in your career?

KE:Wicked‘ changed my life,  it took me to Broadway I open the show in London it led to the release of my first album and many awards I am for ever grateful to that show.

 

C: Which one is your favourite song from ‘Wicked’?

KE: Depends on the day you ask me, I guess. Today would be ‘No Good Deed a song. I love to perform it and I don’t get to sing very often now.

 

C: After ‘Wicked’ you have performed in lots of musicals like ‘Chess’, ‘Oliver!’, ‘Rent’ or ‘Cats’. Is there any musical that you are willing to perform?

KE: I would love to do something new, but I love being a part of a musical so a new revival might be fun to I’m just excited to see what’s next.

 

C: How is your tour going so far?

KE: My tour with Brian starts in February next year hopefully alongside a new album which we are working on at the moment. I love working in the studio and I’m very fortunate to have a parallel career to my musical theatre side.

 

Thank you very much Kerry Ellis (and also Alexandra) for taking your time to answer the questions, because I know you are very busy! I didn’t pretend to take lot of your time, thank you for helping me; I wish you all the best because you are amazing!

Cesar

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