In Conversation With... Kerry Ellis | Murder Ballad | Interview

Monday, 1 August 2016

Rewrite This Story caught up with the fantastic Kerry Ellis about her upcoming musical Murder Ballad, working with Brian May, Wicked and more. Check out what she has to say...

For people that may not know about your career, what would you say some of the highlights have been?
There are so many highlights I've been very fortunate to do some incredible things I guess one of the biggest was playing Elphaba on Broadway which was a childhood dream, another was performing in Verona with Brian May live on Italian television in an incredible venue that is like the Colosseum in Rome.

Was being a performer what you always dreamt of or did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?
I always knew that I wanted to perform I just didn't know how my career would work out, it sounds very cliche but it was in my blood and still is. 

I got to see you perform at the Hampton Court Festival with Brian May and you both seemed so natural and at home with each other… Why do you think you work so well together? What have you learnt from one another?
I think the reason Brian and I work so well together is because we both share the same passion for music and performing, or shows and albums and performance is now very simple it's all based around a voice and the guitar the things we care about so it just seems very natural. There is a lot of drama and atmosphere but also a lot of laughing and fun.

Let's talk about Wicked a little bit. Elphaba has become such an iconic character in musical theatre, what was your favourite and least favourite part playing her? Would you like to don the green paint again for the upcoming film?
Playing Elphaba was an incredible experience, in the West End and on Broadway, of course I would love to be involved in the film in some way and I can never say I wouldn't go back to the show ever again however I have such wonderful memories that will stay with me forever.

It's tough so it's like running a marathon eight times a week physically, emotionally and vocally it's tough but also one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played.

You’re an inspiration for many people hoping to get into musical theatre, whats your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?
You have to love this industry, it can be so competitive and hard at times but also it's one of the best jobs in the world, there are many knock backs many tears but if you are strong enough and passionate enough it's worth the fight

You’re set to star in Murder Ballad from September, can you explain little about the shows storyline and how your character Sara fits into it?
I think you just need to come and see the show. I'm really excited about it it's a forehand are very intimate show something I've never done before. All the cast are stars and I think it's going to be show not to be missed.

Murder Ballad is set in a bar right? You’re used to performing in much bigger venues, how do you feel about performing in the more intimate Arts Theatre?
I'm a little nervous if I'm honest but I like the challenge and I always like to try new things, it's going to be a very new experience of performing so intimately as a character. 
Sam Yates will be directing us and I have full confidence that he will make this show incredible.

Can you describe ‘Murder Ballad’ in 5 words?
Dangerous passionate electric emotional and fun

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

A huge thank you to Kerry for taking the time to answer these questions!