Tag Archives: Wicked

West End Live 2013 – Photo Feature Part 2

24 Jun

Saturday 22nd June 2013

Once, Wicked, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Top Hat, Matilda, We will rock you, The Bodyguard, Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line, Rock of Ages

West End Live 2013 – Photo Feature Part 1

24 Jun

Sound Check – Friday 21st June 2013

Jersey Boys, We will rock you, The Bodyguard, Wicked, Top Hat, Billy Elliot, Les Miserables

Competition!

26 Dec

Earlier this month I managed to raise more than £600 for The Brain Research Trust with my charity auction.

It turned out the original winner of the signed Wicked programme obviously wasn’t a trustworthy person as he failed to complete payment (shame on you!). However, the programme found a new owner nevertheless (and for the original winning price which is wonderful) so no harm done.

What has happened now is this: The buyer of the programme has donated it to be given away for free. Such a generous thing to do!

So, here’s your chance to own a Wicked programme signed by the current London cast.

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All you have to do is this: Find me on Twitter @Steffi_G . Follow me and retweet my competition tweet (I will repost it several times over the next days – retweeting any of those tweets will do!).
Not on Twitter? No worries! Just sign up for this blog instead (via the follow button) and drop me an email at theatregirl@gmx.net stating the name / email address under which you have followed the blog.

The competition runs until 4th January 2013. Out of all entries I will pick the winner at random on Saturday, 5th January 2013. The winner will be notified via Twitter (or email in case he/she is not on Twitter).

Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre – 10th November 2012

14 Nov

It has been a while since I last saw Wicked.  I used to go a lot when the show first started and I’ve always enjoyed my trips to the Emerald City. I guess Wicked is just one of those shows that need someone in the cast I really want to see to get me booking again.

And with Louise Dearman taking over as Elphaba and Jason Winter joining the ensemble that has happened at the end of October.

First of all I think Wicked is a superb show. It has some gorgeous songs, great characters and an interesting and catching storyline. I have always been a fan of big voices so for me the show stands and falls with the singing abilities of the leads. Acting is important as well, of course, but personally I can forgive some acting glitches as long as I get blown away by the singing (I know it’s the other way round for others).

I have seen Louise Dearman as Glinda and I loved her take on the park. She was funny without going completely over the top and her singing was fantastic. Her Elphaba is acted flawlessly in my opinion. She manages just the right mix of vulnerability and anger and makes Elphaba a character I can feel for and whose motives I can follow. I admit I wasn’t completely convinces by her singing during act one. Her “Wizard and I” was good but not outstanding and she seemed to struggle with the high notes at the end of “Defying Gravity”. However, her “No good deed” was absolutely stunning and the best I’ve heard since Kerry Ellis (who I adored in the part vocally). I’m sure Louise will be a brilliant Elphaba once she has settled into the role a bit more and has gotten used to singing those difficult songs night after night.

It was my first time seeing Gina Beck’s Glinda (that shows how long I haven’t watched the show!) and I fell in love with her portrayal right from the start. Her singing is nothing but amazing and I loved that she manages to balance the part properly. She is funny while still keeping the character real.

Ben Freeman has taken over as Fiyero and I admit I was sceptical towards him in the part after seeing him as Warner in Legally Blonde (yes, I didn’t enjoy his portrayal). I did however try and watch him with an open mind. Sadly I ended up not liking his Fiyero at all. His acting was alright but to me he looked slightly out-of-place most of the time and I didn’t feel any chemistry between him and Louise. Plus his singing was weak compared to the previous Fiyeros I have seen.

Having played the part in the Original London Cast Katie Rowley Jones has returned to play Nessarose. I loved her when I first saw her years ago and I still love her now. For me she plays Nessa just how she should be played.

I wasn’t too impressed by Sam Lupton as Boq. He’s missing cuteness if that makes any sense. James Gillian is still the best Boq I have seen because he was simply beyond adorable. Sam came across as too secure and lacked a bit of the little boy charm Boq should have.

Keith Barlett is doing a fine job as the Wizard. I don’t really like the tone of his singing voice but that is just my personal preference. I really enjoyed seeing Louise Plowright as Madame Morrible. Same goes for Christopher Howell as Dr. Dillamond.

The new ensemble appears fresh and full of enthusiasm which is a joy to watch. These guys and girls will be absolutely fantastic once they been in the show a few more weeks. And I’m really looking forward to seeing some of them in their cover parts – especially Jason Winter as Fiyero who I think will be quite amazing.

Wicked is still a blockbuster of a show and fun to watch. The current cast is – with few exceptions – one of the best I’ve seen in the London production. I definitely recommend a visit even if you’ve seen the show before with a different cast. It’s worth going again to see the new guys and girls for sure.

Wicked is playing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. For more info and to book tickets go to http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/.

10 Questions with Jason Winter

9 Aug

Jason Winter studied at Laine Theatre Arts. His theatre credits include Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), Flashdance (UK tour), 42nd Street (Chichester Festival),  Cats (German tour), Top Hat (UK tour) and Gypsy (The Curve Theatre, Leicester) to name a few.
His next job will take him to the land of Oz. You can catch Jason on stage in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre from 29th October.

But first Jason is taking part in this year’s West End Bares at Cafe de Paris on 2nd September 2012. In preparation for this fantastic event he is fundraising for The Make A Difference Trust. Personally I have been a supporter of this great charity for several years. I know times are tough but if you have a few pennies to spare please consider a donation. Every pound can make a difference. You can find Jason’s fundraising page here:
http://www.justgiving.com/Jason-Winter

What was the first role you ever played (school, drama class…) and how old were you?
The first role I ever played was Peter Pan, which I did when I was 15. Before that all I ever wanted to do was to be in the ensemble and dance. I hated singing and I hated the thought of speaking on my own on stage. Randomly at about 13 or 14 I started singing (around the house and with my brother etc) and realised that I actually enjoyed it, and it wasn’t as dreadful as I’d previously thought, so I started to embrace the idea of parts. And when Peter Pan was coming up at my local theatre I jumped at the chance, mainly because i wanted to fly, and I was lucky enough to get the part. It was a great first experience at a lead and gave me the thirst I have today to play parts.

Who was your inspiration when you were younger?
My main inspiration was my Mum. She was the one who started me dancing and supported me the whole way. Without her I wouldn’t be either the performer or the person I am today. Other than that the usual dance icons: Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I was obsessed with any musical video I could get my hands on and from as early as I can remember spent afternoons copying their dance moves.

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?
The first professional show I ever saw on stage was Grease at the Dominion Theatre, and I have to say honestly….I hated it. I still remember leaving the theatre and feeling so upset that I hadn’t enjoyed it. I was only 7. I guess being brought up on the old classic MGM musical movies had made me a bit of a theatre snob. Luckily not long after this my parents took me to see Les Mis at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Despite their reservations at the show maybe being a little bit too heavy for a 7-year-old I sat motionless, glued to the action on stage and sobbed through the entire show, even refusing to get up at the interval for an ice cream out of fear I’d miss something. I always say that Les Mis restored my faith in theatre and is the reason I wanted to be a performer from that day on. Stagey child!! So I guess I’d have to say Les Mis was one of my favourite shows. Also on my top list are Cats, Saturday Night Fever and Wicked.

If you had not become a performer what profession would you have chosen?
For about 2 weeks at the age of 15 I decided I didn’t want to perform and for some reason wanted to be a physiotherapist. Apart from that theatre is all I’ve ever wanted to do for a job. If I had to choose another job it’d be something with animals… maybe a zoo keeper?!

Out of all parts you’ve played so far which one has been your favourite and why?
I don’t think I can choose just one favourite role because I’ve been so lucky in my career so far but I can give a top 3. Firstly going on for my cover of Jerry Travers in Top Hat was amazing. It was a massive role to play and my first experience of being a professional leading man. The audience reaction was such a buzz and I got to play opposite the beautiful Miss Summer Strallen, who is a great friend of mine, so that was such an honour. Secondly being in Cats was a dream come true. I’d wanted to be in the show for as long as I could remember so just to be a part of it was amazing, let alone getting to play four different characters. Lastly Tulsa in Gypsy has to be the pinnacle of my career to date. It was the first time I wasn’t a cover… the part was mine! It was such a new and exciting thing for me to get to find and develop my own character. I was on cloud 9 every day of that contract and felt like I grew so much as a performer on the job. Again I got to work with an amazing cast and played opposite the beautiful Miss Victoria Hamilton-Barritt which was just incredible. I was so spoilt with the feedback I got from audience members and reviews and I know it will always be a job I cherish and remember forever.

What’s your dream role?
Dream role… hmmm… can I narrow it down to 3 again? In case you hadn’t realised I’m extremely indecisive. My dream roles would have to be Bert in Mary Poppins, Tarzan (in Tarzan obviously) and Fiyero in Wicked.

Who would you love to work with?
I’d love to work with Mia Micheals. She is my favourite choreographer, her work is so different and theatrical. I can’t watch it without wanting to get up and join in.

What music do you listen to? And what was the last album you bought?
I’ll listen to pretty much anything to be honest. My iPod is pretty stagey, musicals galore, but also Pop, 80’s Rock, Motown, R&B, Jazz… whatever really. The last thing I brought was an EP by my friends band Parnell Page called Porcelain Moon.

What are your pet peeves?
Rude people. Manners don’t cost anything and it doesn’t hurt to be polite to people. That really frustrates me. Also rain… haha.

If there was a movie about your life, who should play you? And it can’t be yourself!
I’d have to probably say my brother James should play me in a movie of my life. He knows me the best and would make sure the movie made me look good… haha. Although he’d have to take a few dance classes before filming unless we can hire a body double for the dance scenes.

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

For more info about Wicked and to book tickets go to http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/.

To find out more about West End Bares visit http://www.madtrust.org.uk/west-end-bares.php.

Follow Jason on Twitter @jaseleigh