West End leading lady Kerry Ellis is one of the most popular names in West End Theatre having starred in everything from We Will Rock You to Wicked where she recently reprised the role of Elphaba. Now, Kerry is taking on another iconic musical theatre role as Grizabella in Cats the Musical. I sat down with her for a cup of tea (or a saucer of milk) to have a chat about everything that has been going on lately in the world of Kerry Ellis!
The last time we spoke was just before your new album came out. How have things been going with it so far and what has the response been like from your fans?
The response has been wonderful to my new album. It was a whole new experience working with pledge music, I got to meet more of the fans and get to know what they really enjoy about my albums and performances.
I then took the album on a UK Tour which was great fun, lots of singing along and dancing, I loved it.
You are about to take on the iconic role of Grizabella, the glamour cat in Cats the Musical at the London Palladium. Has this been a role you have always wanted to play?
I’ve been in rehearsals for Cats for just over a week and I’m having a ball. I never thought I would get the chance to play Grizabella. This powerful return to the West End has been incredible and quite unexpected I think. The show has been sold out the whole time so to be joining this iconic show at such a wonderful venue (London Palladium) is a dream. My opening hut is Monday the 9th feb.
For anyone who may not know the story of Cats, can you explain what it’s all about?
Cats is of course full of fabulous dancing, sets, costumes, songs and magical orchestrations, but the story behind all that is …..for one night of the year this particular tribe come together to chose one deserving cat to be given a new life. They all give their personal presentations to Old Deuteronomy the leader, who chooses the one. There are many disruptions along the way such as Macavity and Grizabella who keeps returning, determined to be included.
Each cat in the show has a different story to tell. Which one do you identify with the most personally?
I think I relate to elements of all of the cats at some point throughout the show, there are so many different characters to choose from and they all go through different situations.
What can we expect to see you doing next? Do you have any plans for another album, tour or any shows you have your eye on being in?
I’m so excited to be in Cats for the next few months. After that I have a few concerts in Scotland with the lovely Adam Garcia, In the summer Brian and I will return to the studio and work on some more music which I’m super excited about, we have both been busy doing other things so will be great to get back in the studio and see what we come up with. I have a couple new projects I’m developing too which is new and something a bit different.
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
See Kerry Ellis as Grizabella in Cats the Musical from tonight (Monday 9 February)! Click here to book tickets.