For anyone who may not be familiar with your work, can you give me an run down of some of your career highlights so far?
Sure! I was in the Original London Cast Of Wicked and played stand by Elphaba. Just before that I was in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s first musical Tick Tick …. BOOM! with Neil Patrick Harris.
I played Kate Monster/Lucy The Slut In the final West End Cast of Avenue Q. I originated the role of Maggie In Lend Me A Tenor at the Gielgud Theatre and last Summer I played opposite Cynthia Erivo in Dessa Rose at the Trafalgar Studios.
You have just taken on the iconic role of Carole King in Beautiful the Musical. For those who may not have seen the show, can you tell me what it is about?
It’s about Carole King’s life and astonishing career as a songwriter with her husband Gerry Goffin – they wrote hit after hit- before she became a solo artist and had huge success with her album Tapestry.
Have you always been a Carole King fan or is she a new discovery for you? Do you have a favourite song of hers (whether in the show on not)?
I was a fan before the show. I’d sung Home Again years ago at a concert and that song really resonated with me. Her vocal on it was so real and personal. In the show my favourite song would have to be Beautiful. The words and sentiment behind the song are such an uplifting way to end a show.
If you could only ever watch one more theatre show, what would it be and who would be your dream cast?
Noises Off with the 2001 cast from the National theatre transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre. It was possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen in my life. That or my all time favourite musical Guys and Dolls. I can’t wait to the new production at The Savoy.
If you could be the opposite sex for the day, which theatre role would you like to play?
Bobby in Company. It’s an awesome acting role as well as incredible songs to sing.
Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
Oh yes. Too many to mention them all here. A few are ; My quick change dress once snapping open at the wrong moment, exposing my bra. Falling over as a flat head (humpty dumpty) in Wicked and causing the entire cast to stop singing as they were all laughing so much. The last matinee gags on Avenue Q but they’re too rude to share on here!
What is your favourite scene or moment in Beautiful? Whether you are in it or not.
I adore The Drifters stuff. When they come on and sing On Broadway it is such an awesome moment in the show. I also really enjoy the scene where I meet Gerry Goffin for the first time. It’s a really fun scene of one upmanship and Alan Morrissey who plays Gerry is really incredible to bounce off every night. He’s such a talent to get with work with.
Why do you think people should come and see Beautiful?
Because it’s a fascinating real story of a woman who, even if you’re not a fan and think you don’t know her work, you’ll be blow away by how many songs you’ll say ‘Oh my goodness, she wrote THAT!’ Plus you’ll leave on a high as the story ends in such a brilliant and poignant way.
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Beautiful The Carole King Musical is currently booking to 29 October 2016 at the Aldwych Theatre.
Box Office 0845 200 7981