Gabriella Williams has Tea With Wilma
For those who may not be familiar with your work, can you give me a little run down of some of your career highlights so far?
My career has been a very recent adventure! I haven’t actually graduated yet; I will graduate with a degree (hopefully) from ArtsEd in September. I had the luxury of being asked to leave a little early to play Chris Hargensen in ‘Carrie – The Musical’ at the Southwark Playhouse this May. Little did I know that my luck would continue and I would be asked to join the 2015 London Cast of ‘Mamma Mia!’ as Sophie Sheridan. It was a lot of hard work but I think I will always look back at the month, where I was fortunate enough to be rehearsing for Mamma Mia! in the daytime and performing Carrie in the evening, as a highlight.
For those who may have never seen the show, can you tell me what MAMMA MIA! is about and the character you play?
Mamma Mia! is a beautiful story about a single mother, Donna, and her daughter, Sophie (my role). Sophie and her mother live on a Greek Island along with a small group of friends who help run Donna’s taverna; including Sophie’s fiancé Sky. The musical tells the story of Sophie’s search for her father and the mischief she causes along the way. Oh… and it just so happens to be told through the greatest hits of Swedish pop sensation ABBA!
Sophie is a fabulous part. She’s a 20 year old girl full of confidence and love. She would do absolutely anything for her friends and family. She’s quite bohemian … I like her.
Do you have a favourite ABBA song or one that you are particularly enjoying right now in the show?
When I’m on stage listening to Dianne sing “Slipping Through my Fingers” it’s very hard not to turn around and just watch – It’s a very poignant song and she sings it SO beautifully. But It’s ABBA! It’s all pretty awesome!
Do you have any dream roles that you would like to have a go at playing?
All of them! Haha. I’m very greedy. I think this is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Every role is so different, so incomparable! Why would I want to choose?
If you could only ever watch one more theatre show, what would it be and who would be your dream cast?
These questions are tough. I’m a big fan of an epic musical like Les Mis or Miss Saigon, lots of drama and crying, so I’d love to see a huge budget West End production of Jekyll and Hyde! I wouldn’t know where to start with casting it though – I’d have a bash at Lucy haha! I know Drew McOnie is currently choreographing a production at The Old Vic, I’ll go and watch that and get back to you.
Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
I don’t know how much you know about Mazz Murray, our Tanya in Mamma Mia!, but she is an absolute devil. She adores being troublesome on stage and has already had the entire cast in stitches. She’s untameable. If something funny happens on-stage in Mamma Mia! 2015-16 you can be certain of one thing: Mazz was involved.
You recently played Chris in Carrie the Musical at the Southwark Playhouse. How does it feel going from a fairly small show to a huge one in a matter of weeks? What are the biggest differences you have had to adjust to?
The big difference between Carrie and Mamma Mia! was the scale of each production. The theatres were vastly different sizes! They are both marvellous shows with great music and I was very lucky to have absolutely stunning casts and creatives in both.
I felt a lot of pressure with both shows. Carrie because it wasn’t successful on Broadway and we were going to be the Original London Cast and Mamma Mia! because it is hugely successful worldwide. I wanted to at least live up to the standard of the previous 17 years in the West End.
Excitingly another huge difference was that in Carrie I was the baddy, I had the opportunity to be a proper b***ch. Chris was hated; it was incredible to hear the audiences reaction to her! In Mamma Mia! I’m ballsy but I’m certainly not a baddy. Sophie is totally earthy and likeable.
Why do you think people should come and see MAMMA MIA!?
You will not have a better night out anywhere else. The music is legendary. It’s a fun filled, family show that’s appropriate for any and every audience. Our audiences vary from children to hen parties! Every single person leaves the theatre smiling and singing and dancing. Plus… the boys are okay looking, too…
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Mamma Mia is currently booking until 23 April 2016. Click here to book tickets