Ashleigh Gray is a Scottish musical theatre performer best known for playing Elphaba in the West End and UK Tour productions of Wicked.
Personal Life Edit
Ashleigh was born in Fife, Scotland and educated at Newbattle Community High School in Dalkeith. In 2003, she graduated from the Guildford School of Acting, where the received Margaret Veale Award for Singing and the principals award for Musical Theatre. In 2001, Gray returned to Newbattle High School to give a talk to pupils, during which she was surprised by a TV crew and BBC TV star Jane McDonald who were filming her for a series called Star for a Night.
Theatre Career Edit
In 2004, Gray made her professional début as Kim in the UK national tour of the Boy George musical Taboo. In 2006, she appeared in NHS the Musical at the Drum Theatre Plymouth and covered Rizzo and Jan in the UK national tour of Grease. In 2007, Gray performed the role of Emily in the European première of Myths and Hymns and again that year at the Finborough theatre.
Ashleigh has also been part of the Notes From New York series. On 9 December 2007 she also appeared in the Christmas version of the show Christmas in New York, at the Lyric Theatre, singing alongside her Wicked co-star Oliver Tompsett, Julie Atherton and Rachael Wooding. Along with stage musicals, Gray has worked with Oliver Tompsett on his debut album, Sentimental Heart, for which she recorded a duet with him.
On 26 September 2010 Gray joined composer Scott Alan at his concert " Simply The Music of Scott Alan" in London's West End.
On 25 April 2011, Gray hosted her first solo cabaret "Easter With Ashleigh Gray". In which she performed a host of songs from her career, new songs written for her and some of her personal favourite songs. In the summer of 2011 Gray played Miranda in Betwixt! at Trafalgar Studios, a role for which she received several nominations for Best Actress in a Musical.
Gray originated the role of Lorraine Campbell in 'I Dreamed A Dream' the Susan Boyle Musical which toured the UK and Ireland in 2012.
Wicked EditOn 16 July 2007, she joined the London company of the musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where she performed in the ensemble, performing primarily as Glinda's friend at university Pfanee.
She also understudied the role of Elphaba. She played her first performance as the not-so-wicked witch 6 February 2008. She then became Elphaba standby from 9 June 2008, replacing Cassidy Janson. After a lengthy run in the show, she departed at cast change on 27 March 2010, with her final appearance as Elphaba on 12 March. She was replaced by Nikki Davis-Jones.
Soon enough, Ashleigh made a special one-night return to the role for the evening performance of 28 October 2010, due to the indisposition of all the current Elphaba's at the time. She then again returned unexpectedly, for the 18 February 2011 performance, in which Davis-Jones, Gray's replacement, left mid-first act due to illness, and the current understudy was not rehearsed.
As of 21 October 2013, Gray returned to the West End company of Wicked as the standby for Elphaba. She was replaced by Emma Hatton on 2 December. As of March, 3, 2014, Gray returned once again to provide emergency cover as the standby for Elphaba for three weeks.
On 16 September 2014 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, Gray took over as lead Elphaba in the UK Tour of Wicked, replacing Nikki Davis-Jones. She stayed with the tour until it closed at The Lowry, Salford on 25 July 2015.
Other Work Edit
Gray and John Barrowman recorded a duet "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on his latest album You Raise Me Up which was released towards the end of June 2014.