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Last Day In Oz! Farewell To Departing WICKED Cast

How did you react when you found out you had a part in the show?

Alexia Khadime (Elphaba) - When my agent had told me I got the part of Elphaba I didn't actually believe him and thought he was joking. I think I must have asked him if he was serious about 10 times. It was very exciting. I couldn't believe it!

Dianne Pilkington (Glinda) - I was unable to process it for about a week!

Oliver Tompsett (Fiyero) - I was over the moon! It is a rare thing nowadays to be part of something that not only sells out show after show but also is actually a wonderful piece of theatre. The general public loves it and the real theatre enthusiasts love it as well so it's the perfect combo.

Harriet Thorpe (Madame Morrible) - I was absolutely ecstatic and in disbelief. I didn't audition for the part, it was offered to me out of the blue. I was driving along and was told by my agent to stop driving as he had some news for me. I was very blessed not to have to audition.

Alex Jessop (Boq) - I was really excited because it was a part that I always wanted to play.

David Stoller (Doctor Dillamond) - I was just thrilled to be part of a big show.

Ashleigh Gray (standby Elphaba) - I was over the moon! I went to Broadway way back in 2004 to see the Original Cast with my friend, James Gillan. We were both totally blown away by the show. At the end, we turned to each other and said that we would play the parts of Elphaba and Boq one day - and we did!

What's your favourite memory of appearing in the show?

AK - I think my favourite memory was my first night as it was also my birthday. I was nervous and excited. It was a lovely birthday present.

DP - It was the Halloween show, which was for the Mousetrap Foundation. It allowed kids to see the show that wouldn't normally be able to. It was like a rock concert!

OT - In the very first preview I had opening line "Look, it's Glinda!" but the bubble with Glinda in it stayed firmly out of sight from the audience because the automation had shut down! THE most anticipated performance of a musical for as long as anyone can remember had started and 30 seconds in STOPPED on my line. I must add ever since then there have never been any problems like it. I guess we will just think of it as a false start and a memorable one at that.

HT - It's too hard to think of just one memory but one that does stand out for me is sharing all the laughs with the performing family of Wicked and spending a part of everyday with them.

AJ - Our opening night.

DS - When I played both Dr Dillamond and the Wizard on the same night!

AG - Wicked is my first big West End show so when I joined the cast in 2007 as Phannee and cover Elphaba, our opening night was pretty special. There were a few of us making our West End debut in the show so when we were all in the 'clump' at the beginning waiting for the Oz map to fly out we were all really nervous and excited. Then came my first ever show as Elphaba, which was just amazing! Waiting behind the doors ready for my first entrance, I was so excited! I had to calm myself down so that I didn't overshoot my mark and end up in the pit!

Who was your favourite celebrity that had come back-stage after the show?

AK - I think it was Ant (as in Ant & Dec) as he was so lovely when he came back stage. And Joan Collins who I had met before while doing The Lion King (she remembered me) was a really lovely lady.

DP - Joan Collins.

OT - Every time a big celebrity has come back stage I have been on holiday and I hardly ever take holiday. I missed Meat Loaf, Matt Damon, etc but we did have Stephen Hawking watching one night, and being a genius also that meant a lot to me. Finally someone was watching who could understand my hugely intellectual choices as an actor. JOKE!

HT - Joan Collins for the glamour and also Meat Loaf. It was very surreal.

AJ - Meat Loaf.

DS - Meat Loaf.

AG - I've been lucky enough to be on as Elphaba a few times when we've had some really great people in! Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders were lovely but I think probably the most surreal meeting was Meat Loaf! My mum used to love him so I grew up listening to him - he's a legend!

What are you going to miss most about not being in the show anymore?

AK - I'll miss the show as a whole. It's such a great show to be a part of but I think I will mostly miss the cast, crew and creative team. It's such a great group of people to work with.

DP - Glinda. She has become an alter ego.

OT - The support from the fans. They really do love the show and appreciate what we do. To feel that appreciated in a job is what everyone wishes for. Without them my experience would have been a lot less fun.

HT - My friends and performing such an amazing character and knowing that it's there for me every night.

AJ - The camaraderie and having fun with everyone in the show.

DS - Spending time with the rest of the cast. I have laughed a lot this year!

AG - I will miss being in the show a lot especially as I'm a fan of the show first and foremost. Because I don't play the role every night, I think I'll miss some things about the part that perhaps some of the other Elphies would've been glad to see the back of! The greenifying, the amazing songs and of course the flying! I will miss the people too of course; I've made some great friends during my time at Wicked. Being thrown together in the Standby Room has resulted in a great friendship with my fellow standby Sarah Earnshaw. I'm definitely going to miss all our antics both on and off stage!

If you could have played any other role in the show who would it have been and why?

AK - I think I would have like to have played Glinda, as like Elphaba it's an amazing role to play and her costumes are gorgeous. I think I have a little Glinda in me with my shoe obsession.

DP - Elphie of course. She has such great songs.

OT - Easy question - ELPHABA! For three reasons. 1 - I would look great green. 2 - I've always wanted to fly and 3 - I do an amazing version of No Good Deed in the shower!

HT - Glinda for the glittery dresses and Elphaba for the black number she wears at the end.

AJ - I'd have liked to have played Fiyero because he gets to dance a bit!

DS - Nessarose so that I could sit down all night!

AG - I'd love to give Madame Morrible a go! She's so outrageous with those amazing costumes and crazy wigs. She has some great one-liners too! I think all the female parts in Wicked are great in their own right - given half the chance I'd love to play them all!

Were there any bloopers in the show that you remember well?

AK - One in particular for me was when my jacket got stuck to my skins (leotard) and it was during the crazy nine-second change just before One Short Day. It was very funny but I made on stage in time!

DP - When I knocked off my crown while spinning my wand. It really hurt (my pride)!

OT - Yes there were many but my favourite was when Dianne (Glinda) bent down to me in the munchkin land scene and said just as she said "He just loves her" suddenly a loud farting sound came from under her dress to which we all giggled at and I had to reply, "Glinda, I am so sorry." Still to this day she insists it was her "shoe" but I'm not so sure!

HT - One time when I said my line ‘Now listen Missy' and then blanked for twelve counts.

AJ - There was a time when during one of my scenes someone else's microphone came on (who was off stage at the time) and their conversation could be heard on stage!

DS - I recently referred to Madame Morrible as Miss Marple!

AG - I think probably the most embarrassing 'blooper' that ever happened to me was on stage during 'The Wizard & I.' I was in the middle of the song and turned the suitcase on its side to sit on it but I hadn't hit the mark correctly so when I went to sit on it both me and the case went flying and I spent the rest of the middle eight trying to get back on my feet. It was awful!

 

 




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