Wicked By Name – Not By Nature
Kerry Ellis is a well known name in the West End, she’s covered (several times) for Martine McCutcheon in My Fair Lady, played Meat in We Will Rock You and can now be found covered in green flying a broom in Wicked! The Musical and will soon be transferring to Broadway, she talks to Simon Savidge about nerves, being green, her album and just what is over the rainbow.
Obviously with the Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West aka Elphaba is quite a gay icon…
(Laughs) In a slightly evil way.
How did it feel to be portraying such an iconic figure?
I have had a few letters from people. It was a hard thing because of the hype about it, but because of the show having already run and being established I was more looking at what I could bring to the role, I didn’t want to mimic anyone. (Laughs) I probably would have freaked myself out.
How does it feel going from West End to Broadway?
I am absolutely beside myself; I really am, completely and utterly beside myself. From a kid I thought ‘I want to sing, I want to get into shows and the West End’ then when you get there it’s unbelieveable. Then you think ‘well I want to do a lead’. That again is amazing, so to have Broadway is just fantastic.
Is the green face paint a real bugger?
(Laughs) I probably still have some on. I went on holiday recently and it was a joy to not find it in my ears, it seriously gets in your hair and everything. It’s something different though.
Now what about your album? You’re working with Brian May on it aren’t you?
Yeah I met Brian when I was in We Will Rock You and we released a single from that so we have been working for quite a while on that now. Fingers crossed it will be out soon as I would like to take it to America. However as I’m learning rock stars aren’t the quickest people to get stuff out. (Laughs) It’s because he wants the sound exactly right and get it all perfect.
What sound can we expect from the album?
It’s kind of orchestra with a rock feel to it. I guess like when we released the ‘No One But You’ single from We Will Rock You. We’re also doing some of the songs from Wicked which Brian has Queen-ised (laughs) if you’ll excuse the pun. They have been rocked up and then there is some stuff that might surprise people.
Finally – what just is over that blinking rainbow?
(Laughs) Do you know when I was nine I was in the Wizard of Oz as a munchkin, it was in Ipswich, I was also one of the Emerald City people. So really Oz calls me in some strange way. What’s over that rainbow? (Laughs) If we all knew we wouldn’t still be trying to find it would we?