BWW INTERVIEWS: Sarah Earnshaw, Standby Glinda In London's WICKED

BWW INTERVIEWS: Sarah Earnshaw, Standby Glinda In London's WICKED

Hi Sarah, and welcome to BWW:UK. You've been going on as Glinda quite a lot recently, haven't you?

Yes! I take on all holiday duties, sickness, or if there's an extra show during the school holidays...

It must be a bit weird, though...

It's a bit of a strange job. Most understudies are part of the ensemble, so they're part of the show anyway. I'm just in the building every night! It gets tricky if you've not been on for a couple of weeks, though.

Does it get quite isolating?

It can be. Ashleigh [Ashleigh Gray, standby Elphaba] and I have a brilliant relationship, and together we run Wicked London's Twitter account! We have a laptop in the dressing room, and we organise all the social events, so we're kept busy.

I was going to ask how you'd got into that!

The producers asked if we'd do it, and it's nice for our followers to feel connected with the cast. It's a different vibe than if it was someone in the office doing it, and people feel up-to-date with what's happening and makes them feel part of it. I'm not a Twitter girl myself, though; more Facebook! I do find it fun to have such a large following and to get an instant response.

Wicked's always had a large following.

They're so dedicated. We see the same faces at the stage door, which is lovely. The show touches a lot of people, often teenagers, who can connect with the two girls, especially Elphaba.

Often there's lots of debate about who the audience's favourite pairing is...

Oh, I don't get involved with that! You do get people who are your favourites to work with, but we always do the best performance we can. You do get a different chemistry when the Elphaba-Glinda pairing changes; it's fresh, and makes it new, and it's only natural that certain pairings appeal to different people.

One of the things that's so special about Wicked is that it focuses on female friendship, and the romance is a sub-plot.

Yes, it's the central plot rather than having a focus on the romantic leads. It's rare to have a show based on friendship. People can see themselves in the two girls - everyone has a special friend like that.

You've been playing Glinda for a couple of years now. How has your own interpretation changed?

It changes according to who you're in the cast with. Over time, as you get comfortable, you relax more and put more of yourself into it. There's a change in Glinda, who becomes more mature, and you need to capture that journey - I hope that's become stronger in my portrayal. It's easy to play Glinda for laughs; I want to develop the truth in her.

When the time comes to move on, what do you hope to do?

I'd like to do lots of different things! I'm ambitious. I'd like to do lots of roles, but I've loved being here - roles like this don't come around often; in fact, if you look around, these are probably the two best female roles around at the moment. This industry is difficult, there are so many talented people competing for jobs, and it'll be hard to leave Glinda behind because I enjoy it so much. I've always wanted to play Eliza Doolitte, actually; that's always been a dream of mine, but it's never come up, even when I was doing am-dram.

And it's cast change very soon - have you met the newbies?

I've not met Louise [Louise Dearman] yet, but I've worked with Rachel [Rachel Tucker] before in a workshop. I'm really excited about having fresh faces around - but I'll miss Ashleigh so much!

Sarah Earnshaw is currently standby Glinda in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria.

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From This Author Carrie Dunn

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