Alice Fearn is playing one of the most sought after and iconic roles in Musical Theatre today – the green witch Elphaba in Wicked. Alice, who joined the show as a standby in 2016, has gone on to play the role full time for the past twelve months and is referred to by many as the ‘best Elphaba ever’ (myself included).
Her other credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre, The Woman In White at the Palace Theatre, Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre and Shrek the Musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
In a new series of ‘Backstage With…’ podcasts, Mikey Worrall takes us behind the scenes with some of our favourite musical theatre performers and creatives. Podcasts already available include Emma Hatton, Jodie Prenger, Emma Williams, Gina Beck and John McCrea. Today see’s the release of Alice Fearn’s interview and it’s a must listen to for any Wicked fans!
Reflecting on when she found out she had got the part full time Alice says: “It was the week of dreams – I was on holiday in Santorini and on the Tuesday night (my boyfriend) Gavin asked me to marry him and on the Wednesday morning my agent called me and said ‘you’ve just got Elphaba on the west end stage’. So it was a pretty good week.”
Alice, who won the Best Understudy at the 2017 West End Wilma awards (before she had taken over the role of Elphaba full time), talks about her experience as an understudy and the disappointment audience members can feel when not seeing their idol on stage. When having to go on in the place of Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical she said: “I’m the kind of person that goes ‘alright you’re disappointed, I’m going to make you regret that, I’m going to go out there and absolutely nail this part you’re going to laugh, probably cry and then stand up at the end'”.
Sickness and injury in Musical Theatre is unfortunate but sometimes happen as actors are human too! In Wicked, when one of the leading ladies is taken sick during a performance and has to be replaced by the understudy, this can be executed seamlessly without the audience realising one actor has run off stage and another has run on, dressed exactly the same. This occurrence is called a ‘Witch Switch’. Alice, who never actually had to do a ‘witch switch’ whilst understudying the role of Elphaba, did have to bail out earlier this year after singing ‘The Wizard and I’ with a throat infection. She says “I’d sung it in the dressing room and thought ‘well it’s there, I’ve definitely done it worse’. But then you go out there and sing a five minute song on that scale and suddenly the glands decided this is the end of it, you’ve got to stop now. Read more about that night here.
Other topics covered in the new podcast include her riffs, her auditions for Wicked over the years, her favourite Elphaba and how a sports injury put her on track for a career in musical theatre.
Check it out now!
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2JtPDPS
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/763n3CZ4je1WpNSoZjbelX?si=7fQ28AwTTwy6Z1CaZJ8Uaw …
Also available on TuneIn and Stitcher.
http://Backstagewith.com for more info.
Buy tickets to West End theatre shows (some great discounted offers)
Subscribe to my mailing list for all the latest theatre news, special offers and competitions
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE