BWW Interview: Amy Ross On Playing Elphaba In The WICKED Tour
So we're here at the press launch for the Wicked tour - was it your first time singing those songs in public?
Yes, and only the first or second time singing with each other as well! They're both [Helen Woolf as Glinda and Aaron Sidwell as Fiyero] so wonderful, we all seem to get on so well.
So are you looking forward to rehearsals?
Yes, I can't wait! We've all known for a good five months and I got sent the script the other day and I remembered what a fantastic, strong character she is. I'm so excited to sink my teeth in.
Why do you think people identify with Elphaba?
I think it's because a lot of people, for whatever reason, feel at some point in their life like an outsider. Elphaba instantly says it's OK to be an outsider and don't try and apologise, be true to it and yourself.
I think what I connect with is her sense of things needed to be right and just, and her fight for that. It's amazing how much she changes the other characters in the show and how much they change her.
Elphaba seems to have become an iconic role - do you feel that way?
Yes, which is why it feels like a pressure, but it's a wonderful pressure - the most incredible pressure I've ever had in my life. It is such an iconic role, it's a gift for a female actor.
It's also a really meaty role; you're playing a million different layers. She knows she's different and she feels responsible and guilty for the way her sister is, but with all those things going on, she's still saying "Everything's fine".
Most recently, you were in Kinky Boots in the West End - this must be a big change
Yes, in Kinky Boots I was playing a character that was quite cold and quite underwritten actually, whereas this couldn't be any more different! I'm excited to have a lot more material to work with and I think I'll keep discovering things about the part every single day.
And, of course, a change because you'll be on tour
Indeed, in terms of being on the road, I'm married and I have a cat that I love - there's me always talking about my cat! I will miss my husband as well! I think, though, changing up theatres helps keep the shows fresh. It's also a really nice relief to be going to theatres where we don't have to scale anything down.
Is it daunting to have those big songs to sing, eight shows a week?
Well, I've had some chats with friends who've played the part - I live near Emma Hatton, so I've had a coffee with her. If you overthink it and you're stressed and worried about it, that's not going to help.
All I can do is take each day as it comes, warm up, and then as a professional, it's my job to look after myself vocally.
So no clubbing after the shows then?!
Yes, no going out clubbing till six in the morning! But I can party for sure, I'll admit that. But seriously, I am more than happy to make the sacrifices for this part.
Would you say this is your biggest role to date?
Oh god yeah, you can't really beat Elphaba. For a musical theatre performer, it's an absolute dream. I just signed my first Wicked programme, so it's starting to sink in...
Photo credit: Darren Bell