No stranger to West End theatre, the very talented Kerry Ellis has recently joined the cast of Wicked. We met up with her to find out why she loves playing Elphaba so much.
1. How does it feel to be the first British actress to take on the role of Elphaba?
It's amazing, I was so lucky to be given the opportunity to play this role as I know there was a lot of competition. I'm so pleased to be a part of this incredible show and to be the first Brit to do it!
2. What is it about the musical Wicked that really appeals to you?
Like everyone, I'm a fan of The Wizard of Oz and was intrigued by the story and to find out more about the characters. The journey of Elphaba is great too, and a real joy to play.
3. The role of Elphaba is exceedingly demanding. How do you prepare yourself for this role and keep yourself in perfect health?
Well, I'm still finding my feet with the whole "eight shows a week" thing. The role is demanding vocally, emotionally and physically - but I'll get there.
4. How long does it take to transform from Kerry Ellis to a green Elphaba?
I'm very lucky to have people to help me with that. It's the taking off that's not so easy. I do come into the theatre two hours before the show to prepare and warm up!
5. What is your favourite part of the show to perform and why?
"No Good Deed" I think, but to be honest I enjoy it all. Like I said, Elphaba has a great journey and it's a joy to play her. The cast and crew are great, that also helps.
6. We last saw you as Meat in We Will Rock You, another similar show to Wicked in terms of audience reaction. Is being in Wicked a very different experience to We Will Rock You?
Yes, although in We Will Rock I think the fans were mainly there for Queen, where as this show they really just love the show itself.
7. You have played Eliza Doolittle in the National Theatre's production of My Fair Lady. Do you enjoy performing in more traditional musicals as much as in new musicals?
I've been very luck not to get "typed"; I have played all sorts of roles and enjoyed each one for what it was. I love the versatility I've been granted in each show and hope to continue doing just that.
8. What was the last West End show you saw and did you enjoy it?
I'm off to see Spamalot soon which I can't wait for; I do like to see other shows but don't really get that much time.
9. What is the one musical theatre role you would love to play one day?
I'm not sure, though I have done a workshop on "Way Beyond Blue", a show written by Imogene Stubbs and directed by Trevor Nunn. If that ever came to town I'd jump at that!
10. What is next for Kerry Ellis?
Who knows? I'm looking to do some more recording with Brian May, and for the moment I'm just enjoying getting my head around Wicked and loving it!
Click here to buy tickets to see Kerry Ellis in Wicked.