An interview with Louise Dearman – Star of Wicked

I may have mentioned once or twice in the past about my love of Musical Theatre ever since Hubby took me to see The Lion King in the West End for our first Valentines date.  Ever since that date we have been to London time and time again to see so many shows I couldn’t even guess at a number.  Since the children have come along our visits to shows have lessened but as the children get older we will take them to see if they share our passion.

This morning I had the great opportunity to interview Louise Dearman who finished playing Elphaba on Saturday in the hit West End Musical Wicked.  Louise’s third album ‘It’s Time’ goes on sale on 2nd December so will be just in time for Christmas if you have a Musical Theatre lover in your family.  Louise has just announced her first UK tour “It’s Time” where she will be performing her collection of classical music and showtime favourites.

MM ~ When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in musical theatre?

LD ~ I have been dancing since I was 3 years old so it’s always been in my blood albeit just as a hobby after school. Then when I was 12 years old I auditioned for the school choir and my teacher Glynis Lawrence heard about auditions for Joseph & The Technicolour Dreamcoat. When we arrived at the Paladium and saw Phillip Schofield I felt inspired and knew right then that I wanted a career in musical theatre. I still have a massive scrapbook in loft full of glitter and memories which I collected about that time. I left school at 16 years old to join Laine Theatre Arts and studied there for 3 yrs. I graduated on the Saturday and started Joseph UK tour on the Monday. I felt so lucky because many of my friends still didn’t have jobs/roles to go to.

MM ~ My husband and I are big fans of musical theatre, it holds a special place in our hearts. You have famously been the only person to play both lead roles in Wicked and that is the one show I still want to see but Hubby isn’t so sure on, how do I convince him he will love it?

LD ~ I have heard so many stories and feedback from people who have seen Wicked and I have never heard of anyone who has been to the show and not been wowed by it. There is something for everyone, it’s funny and will have you laughing out loud, it has emotion and will have you in tears. It is performed in an enormous theatre and there is absolutely no expense spared on anything; the set, the costumes and makeup it’s all just amazing.

If someone was looking to see a Musical Theatre Show for the first time ever, which show would you recommend as a starting point?

Well of course I’m going to say Wicked. You don’t need to know anything about the Wizard of Oz to see the show and understand it. It obviously has a few references to the Wizard of Oz but it will still make perfect sense. It has just an incredible wow factor it will definitely spark a passion for musical theatre.

MM ~ What do you feel has been your defining moment in your career to date?

LD ~ I have a couple of defining moments. For years and years I toured the UK theatres desperate to get a lead role in the West End and then landed the role of Glinda in Wicked which was very special in itself but then two and half years later to be offered the role of Elphaba was amazing because I knew that no-one else in the world had ever played both leading roles, I was completely blown away. I felt the pressure of course but I was also so proud.

My other defining moment would be singing at the Royal Albert Hall on one of Michael Ball’s UK tours. It was so amazing and I really hope that one day I will be able to sing there as part of my own tour.

MM ~ Do you have any embarrassing moments from past shows you dare to share?

LD ~ During one of the rehearsals for Guys and Dolls ensembles I was playing one of the Hot Box girls doing a striptease to Bushel and a Peck in gingham dresses with hot pants and a tie top underneath. Naturally we were all very nervous about doing the striptease anyway but when I went to whip the dress off I grabbed the top at same time and was left in bra. I was absolutely mortified as there were all the guys on stage and Directors and everyone watching as I quickly tried to right myself. I was just so grateful that it happened in rehearsals and not in the main show. We soon got to grips with doing the striptease just right and it never happened again.

Another time I forgot lyrics in Jekyll and Hyde when I was singing the solo Someone Like You. I could feel it coming, I realised I couldn’t remember the lines so I just made it up and managed to put in lines which rhymed and no-one seemed to notice but inside I was panicking and being up there on my own I had no-one to help me.

MM ~ Your latest Album “It’s Time” features some of the most iconic musical theatre songs – what made you decide to do that now and not on previous albums and how did you decide which songs to record?

LD ~ My first album was musical theatre too but not the classics. We were always taught at college that if you were going to audition for, let’s say, Les Miserables, you could go in and sing Dreamed a Dream but you would sing one of the smaller songs. So I took a similar step with my first album.

My second album was more contemporary with lots of different genres.

And now on my third album I collaborated with Silva Screen record label. They have an incredible back catalogue of original material. My Manager said this is genius, what better way to celebrate musical theatre that to do this. It took ages to work through all the orchestrations and find the songs which worked well for me. I felt like “Oh My God there are so many songs which have never passed my lips”. We still needed to add a few orchestrations to balance it out so that it felt like my album but it was just an amazing experience.

MM ~ Which song do you love to perform the most and why?

LD ~ That has to be “Home” from “The Wiz”. It was my first ever professional cabaret at Madam JoJos years ago and it means so much. I also loved , Dreamed a Dream and I particularly loved the duet with Shayne Ward – Falling Slowly from Once. He was the perfect partner for this song, he has the most beautiful voice which is easy to listen to.

MM ~ Finally, and just for fun, if you are standing in front of a pick ‘n’ mix stand – what sweets do you choose?

LD ~ Foamy bananas, I love their texture. Fizzy cherries and cola bottles, but they have to be the giant ones because they are so much more satisfying.

Click here for Louise’s UK Tour Dates

www.louisedearman.com

@LouiseDearman

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