Tag Archives: Amy Beadel

10 Questions with Amy Beadel

8 Oct

Amy Beadel trained at the London School of Musical Theatre. She made her professional and West End debut in the Original London Cast of Shrek the musical playing the parts of Tweedle Dum and Teen Fiona.

This Christmas you can catch her as Wendy in Peter Pan at the Camberley Theatre in Surrey.

What was the first role you ever played (school, drama class…) and how old were you?
A fairy in the village church nativity. I then went on to play Mary at school when I was 6 – this was the highly sought after role as the class heart throb was playing Joseph! But aside from nativity roles when I was 8 I played Josephine in HMS Pinafore (I know Gilbert and Sullivan at Primary School) and Toad in Toad of Toad Hall when I was 10.

Who was your inspiration when you were younger?
I was constantly looking up to the year 6 girls when I was younger and was completely influenced by pop culture so I guess I grew up being inspired by the likes of the Spice Girls (!).

What was the first show (play or musical) you saw on stage? And out of all shows you’ve seen which ones are your favourites?
I was very lucky that my parents took my sister and me to the theatre quite a lot. My parents think they took me to see a ballet at the Theatre Royal Plymouth when I was 2 or 3. I remember watching Sesame Street on stage and Cats both when I was quite young – I wanted to be Mister Mistoffelees as I knew all the words!

My favourite always changes as I am constantly seeing new pieces of theatre and being inspired. One that I adored recently was Mack and Mabel at the Southwark Playhouse – it was absolutely brilliant with an outstanding cast and the venue couldn’t have been more perfect – I was like a super fan at the end having to go up to the leads to tell them how amazing they were whilst rubbing off my tear streaked mascara – I think it is so important to tell people if you enjoyed something and always give praise where it’s due; so often in life we hear so many negative things and not necessarily the positive. Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow was exceptional and my old time favourites Rent and Wicked and still right up there. I also love Kneehigh as a theatre company and remember being wowed by their version of Brief Encounter at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

If you had not become a performer what profession would you have chosen?
I always wanted to be an ice skater as I wanted to wear the nude ice-skates. I also loved making up games and loved playing school so at one point I wanted to be a teacher as I liked writing on the board and marking in red pen. Else a popstar – I was constantly making up dances to the Spice Girls, All Saints, Steps and S Club 7 songs and was always creating pop groups (I think I was in about 3 at the same time). I remember creating one with our neighbours whilst at primary school called ‘The Fizzies’ (I always made my sister backing singer) we even wrote our own songs and I think if I dug through the depths of my things at home I could find some of them!!

What’s your dream role?
Glinda in Wicked. I was also love to be in a BBC period drama.

What music do you listen to? And what was the last album you bought?
I have quite an eclectic taste in music which is why no-one lets me put my iPod on shuffle as you go from Jack Johnson, to a singing warm up, to a burst of musical theatre, to Beyonce! I love chilled out acoustic music and my all time love is Donavon Frankenreiter and my favourite song storyteller is Carole King. Also Tristan Prettyman is wonderful and I love good old-fashioned cheese like the Jackson 5. The last albums I was given which I think are brilliant and listen to non-stop are Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

What was your favourite holiday destination so far and what place would you love to visit for a holiday in the future?
I have been to some beautiful places on holiday and the islands in Croatia are just drop dead gorgeous. I loved Barbados and went there on a school sports tour which was so much fun. Skiing in Val d’isere was one of the funnest family holidays. On my gap year I went to Australia which was incredible with my dream places being Fraser Island and the absolute idyllic Daydream Island. There are so many places that I would love to visit such as Goa, Fiji, America, India, Morocco – the list is endless. We are so lucky that travel nowadays makes it so much easier to visit most places in the world.

What were the last three books you’ve read?
I’m currently reading Fifty Shades of Grey and by it taking me so long to read it, it shows that I can’t understand what all the fuss is about! The Help was a beautiful book as was the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I love the author Lesley Pearse and her style of writing as it lets your imagination run wild – also she sets everything in the past and I love history so find it really interesting. Also for readers out there you must read My Sister’s Keeper (the film doesn’t do it justice) and The Kite Runner.

What are your pet peeves?
Rudeness – it takes a second to say please and thank you. Laziness particularly in the workplace. Grammar – why on earth people don’t know how to use things like there, their and they’re; surely it’s still taught in school. People cracking their knuckles it’s just as bad for me as people scratching their nails down a blackboard.

If there was a movie about your life, who should play you? And it can’t be yourself!
Reece Witherspoon or Kristen Chenoweth because they are brilliant and I want to be their friends. Emma Watson because I get told I’m like her a lot…I think they actually mean I’m like Hermione. Else Michelle Francis who was my Tweedle with me in Shrek – she is basically me just the Essex version.

Thank you Amy for taking the time to answer all those questions!

Check out Amy’s blog http://hisandherscene.wordpress.com/ which she runs with her boyfriend Jamie.

For the latest updates on Amy and her career follow her on Twitter @amy_bea .

And don’t forget to book your tickets for Peter Pan here: http://www.camberleytheatre.biz/pantomime/default.htm.
The show runs from 8th December 2012 until 5th January 2013.


Shrek – The Musical, all good things are three?

8 Sep

Last week marked my return to a show I had last seen in its previews back in May: Shrek – The Musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Considering I’m known for watching shows again and again this gives an impression of my views on this particular piece of theatre. To put it simple: I didn’t really enjoy it back then.

I guess I don’t have to go into details when it comes to the storyline. Or are there still people out there who haven’t seen the movie? Well, to be honest – I haven’t. But I tried, I honestly did (never made it past the first 20 minutes though). So, very basic storyline: Fairlytale creatures are forced into Shrek’s swamp (that’s where Ogres live) by order of Lord Farquaard. Shrek wants to get rid of them and so goes on a journey to ask Lord Farquaard to allow the fairytale creatures to leave the swamp. On the way he meets Donkey. Farquaard sends Shrek out to rescure the fair Princess Fiona from the dragon. Shrek and Donkey succeed in their task. Shrek falls in love with Fiona who is under a terrible curse which makes her turn into an Ogre at night. Only a kiss from her true love will return her to her “love’s true form”. Lord Farquaard intends to marry Fiona but of course there’s the big happy ending and so on, and so on.

Now imagine all of this on a stage with songs and dance. It’s a pretty colourful experience and some of the songs are catchy and stay in your head (most of all the song used in the finale “I’m a believer” which is, as some may know, a cover – the original was composed by Neil Diamond and recorded by the Monkees back in the 60ties).

My main problem with this shows was the casting and by this I mean the casting of the leads. First of all there’s Amanda Holden (Fiona) who is semi-well known for appearing on several UK tv shows. While her name might help to attract an audience I think she’s just not right for the part. Her singing is weak and in my opinion she lacks stage presence and has zero chemistry with her fellow cast members. Before anyone jumps on me: I’m sure she’s a nice person and she is reasonably talented but for me she just doesn’t have what it takes to play a lead part in a West End show (and I’ve seen her in Thoroughly Modern Millie in which I found her equally bland).
Next up Nigel Lindsay (Shrek) who is by all means an actor but no singer and who (to me) always looks slightly uncomfortable in his mask and costume.
And there’s Richard Blackwood (Donkey) who tries his best to impersonate Eddie Murphy on stage… and fails. His Donkey is simply not funny and his singing is not even close to average (some people just can’t sing, nothing wrong with that but don’t try and make them on a theatre stage!).
Only the fantastic Nigel Harman (Lord Farquaard) and the brilliant Landi Osinowo (Dragon) really managed to entertain me. Nigel Harman is just brilliantly funny (I won’t give anything away in case you haven’t seen the show) and Landi Oshinowo… well, what a voice!!
And I won’t forget the absolutely stunning ensemble! Special mention to Amy Beadel as Teen Fiona who makes her West End debut in this show and the lovely Ashley Hale who always manages to catch my eye in every show I’ve seen her in so far. Watching all those talented people give their all on stage was one of the few delightful moments during my preview visits.

VisitS you ask? Yes, I went to see the show twice simply because I wanted to catch a full cast on my first visit and return on a date where Amanda Holden was scheduled to be off. Need I say that her understudy, the fantastic Alice Fearn, stole the show on my second visit? Great vocals, great acting – I finally realised that this could be a proper and enjoyable show if only they had cast the right people in the lead roles.

After all that talk about past visits now on to visit number 3 which took place on September 3rd 2011 (matinee). This time the reason was simple: Dean Chisnall.


I have been following his career since I saw him play the lead role in Never Forget back in 2008 (the Take That musical – some might not even recall there was such a thing but I tell you it was a fun show full of energy). Call me biased but the guy is wasted in the ensemble so the chance to see his take on the big green Ogre was too tempting to resist.
And what can I say? It was like watching a new show!! I found myself taping my foot to the music and I even giggled briefly during the infamous “fart song” (don’t ask!). And I never imagined I’d actually start tearing up during “When words fail”. I do cry at everything on tv but it takes quite something to make my eyes water in a theatre. Dean’s Shrek was funny and heart warming and he made me care for this “ugly Orgre”. And his voice – why oh why is that man stuck in the ensemble so often? Give the guy a proper lead part I say!!
After having seen Nigel play Shrek two times I was under the impression that it was simply not possible to show proper emotions whilst wearing this monster of a mask and costume. Well, Dean proved me wrong – Shrek was funny, Shrek was sad, Shrek was angry, Shrek was disappointed. Shrek’s feelings were visible and that made such a huge difference to me.

Richard Blackwood still didn’t quite convince me but since Alice Fearn was on as Fiona again I honestly couldn’t care less. I was in understudy heaven one could say. Her and Dean can easily be called the Shrek-Dreamteam. Amazing stage chemistry!

Shrek will never be one of my favourite shows, I can safely say that. But it is not as terrible as I first thought it was. It’s certainly not “Sondheim” but then it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a fun and entertaining family show. And with the right cast that is exactly what it is. Having said that, a “fart song” is still questionable if you ask me.

So everyone, if you do get the chance please support the great understudies in this show and go see Dean as Shrek and Alice as Fiona. It’s worth it!

For more information visit www.shrekthemusical.co.uk