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We chat to West End performer Hiba Elchikhe about her new online theatre series, Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight

Hiba Elchikhe

West End performer Hiba Elchikhe is going from cast member of Everybody's Talking About Jamie to producer of her very own online series.

Entitled Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight, this new three-part series is in collaboration with Nimax and The Theatre Café. The first episode is out now and shines a spotlight on Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Episode two is all about musical theatre, and the final episode focuses on Christmas; each episode showcases a variety of talented performers.

We chatted to Elchikhe about producing her own show, the challenges that came with it, making her West End debut in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and how she feels about the upcoming film adaptation.

How did Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight come about?

The series literally all came together in 24 hours!

I wanted to produce something that wasn't recorded virtually before the second lockdown started, so it was all a bit of a whirlwind!

What can viewers expect from it?

Viewers can expect fantastic performances and incredible interviews recorded from a West End theatre and our favourite stagey place, The Theatre Cafe. It's a complete celebration of theatre, and hopefully, it will bring some light to people's lives in this crazy time.

What inspired you to create it?

I feel like a lot of people have felt helpless at this time, so I wanted to bring together excellent performers and give them a chance to get back to doing what they love.

BWW Interview: Hiba Elchikhe Talks OUT OF THE DARKNESS, INTO THE SPOTLIGHTHow were the songs in the series chosen?

I wanted all the artists to pick songs they love to sing but don't necessarily get to sing in the shows they are in.

However, with the first episode, which is a Spotlight on Everybody's Talking About Jamie, we wanted to celebrate the show, so there are a few Jamie songs in there.

Which acts surprised you the most?

Liam Tamne surprised me, definitely, because he brought a completely different energy. He also added some alternative lyrics to the song he's singing, which is so relevant for the times (keep an ear out when you're watching!).

What was the biggest challenge of the project, and how did you overcome it?

All the technical side of producing was something I've not had practise with, so was definitely a little daunting.

I'm mainly interested in the creative side, so I had a lot of help from Olivia Mitchell to help me rally the troops, as well as Michael Poon, our sound designer, and Jake Waby, our videographer.

Everyone involved in the project has been so generous with their time and talent; it's made the whole process super smooth.

What's been the best moment of working on this series?

Being back at the theatre for sure and being surrounded by so many incredible artists! I felt so inspired, and without being cheesy, it felt like being reunited with family.

Why is it important that we highlight West End talent at the moment?

It makes theatre accessible and affordable for everyone, as well as keeping our artists in work.

Noah Thomas and Hiba Elchikhe
in Everybody's Talking About Jamie

You made your West End debut in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, what was that like?

Magical! It was a dream come true. Being from London, it's what I aspired to do and getting to play a Muslim character in a hijab on a London stage is incredible.

What's your favourite moment in Everybody's Talking About Jamie?

My favourite moment is the song "Beautiful"; I think everyone should be reminded of this all the time. It should be everyone's mantra: "a little bit of glitter in the grey". You should always find the positives and small things that make you happy!

What are you most looking forward to when you return to Everybody's Talking About Jamie next month?

Being reunited with the cast and the electric audience response! Hearing applause again too!

Are you excited about the film adaptation next year?

Absolutely! It's honestly the most incredible story, and that film cast is incredible.

Why should people watch Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight?

For escapism; it's a celebration of theatre and live singing in the lead up to the festive season.

Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight features some of your favourite performers, some new ones you might not know yet and some legendary ones who you may not see in many concerts.

It's feel-good and fun, and a little bit of glitter in the grey. Live theatre will be back, but in the meantime, these episodes are something to tide you over!

Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight Episode One is available to buy now from The Theatre Cafe's website.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie photo: Matt Crockett

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