INTERVIEW: SOPHIE LINDER-LEE 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?
I got my first job in musical theatre over 10 years ago in Mamma Mia when I was a wee nipper out of college and I’d only done a couple of jobs. It was like winning the lottery, I couldn’t believe I’d ticked that box so early in my career. After some time away from the West End working on cruise ships, seeing the world and doing other theatre jobs I came back in 2010 with Wicked. I was able to work my way up through the ranks for 5 years from Swing to Standby Glinda. I even had a limited run of playing the part for a couple of months in 2015. Aren’t I lucky?! Then I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to play Columbia in the anniversary gala of Rocky Horror Live. Getting your face and your bum screened to cinemas across Europe has got to be a highlight right?!
You are possibly most widely known for playing Glinda in Wicked. That show has such a hugely passionate (some might say obsessive) fan base and one thing fans always want to know about is any funny or disastrous moments that happened to you on stage during your time with the show. Anything you can share with us?
Can I just say the Wicked fans are ace! Some of them have even taken to the road to follow me around the UK with Rocky and it’s nice to see familiar faces at stage door. It’s widely known amongst my friends that I’m a bit of a calamity. There isn’t one job where I haven’t fallen over catastrophically onstage. Wicked is no exception. I did land face first, in starfish, in my bubble dress. Because the dress is so mammoth I couldn’t get up, so a kindly guard managed to drag me one handed offstage like a mop. But apparently the clumsiest people make the best dancers so… ya win some ya lose some.
You are opening the 2016 season of Sunday In The Arts cabaret shows. What have you got planned for the show, what can people expect if they come along and can you let us in on and surprises or special guests you might have lined up #exclusive?
I’ve been wanting to do a show of my own for quite some time so I’m very excited for starters. Anyone that’s seen me at Gigs before knows that I don’t take myself too seriously so there will be lots of daft antics. My ukulele will definitely be making a few appearances and I will be paying homage to a couple of my idols, including Bette Midler and Victoria Wood. There’s your hashtag ‘exclusive’.
You’ll get to hear a few of my silly songs, they usually only get sung in my living room, as well as some well known musical theatre tunes.
I have my Boq Backup Band of course, with Dan Hope and Sam Lupton. They’ll be put through their paces obviously. It wouldn’t be a show without these two chasing me around the stage.
One of the best shows I’ve seen off-Broadway is Silence! The Musical. A musical parody of Silence of the Lambs. You were in this show a few years back in London which must have been a blast to work on! What other film can you think of that could be turned into a great musical parody?
Oh that’s a toughie. I loved doing Silence! I got to play a big county Sheriff and tell lots of sexist jokes.
I think somebody should do a parody musical about superheroes. There’s lots of scope to make big superhuman folk look silly.
Please don’t anybody nick my idea! I said it here first.
There are lots of exciting shows coming to London in 2016. What are you most looking forward to seeing?
I just heard the news that ‘Strictly Ballroom’ is coming over. It’s one of my favourite films, I always wanted to have sequins in my quiff like Tina Sparkle and of course “dance my own steps at the Pan Pacifics”. Very excited about that, especially with Drew McOnie directing. Everything he touches turns to gold.
If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
Elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon is one of the best comic parts I’ve seen in a long time. I’d get my shirt and name badge on and “Baptise You” for one night.
I’m not just saying this but Frank ‘N’ Furter is right up there! You get to run the show and interact with the audience. So much fun!
Can you complete this sentence. People should come and see my Sunday In The Arts cabaret show because….if you don’t come away with sore cheeks, I’ll give you your money back **this disclaimer has NOT been cleared with the producers so take with a pinch of salt….like my show**
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Sophie Linder-Lee is playing at Above The Arts Theatre in London’s West End on Sunday 27 March 2016. Book tickets here