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Kerry Ellis

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Kerry Ellis
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Kerry Ellis (born 6 May 1979) is a British stage actress who has starred as Elphaba in the West End and Broadway productions of the musical Wicked. Among her previous notable roles are as Fantine in the West End production of Les Miserables and as Meat in the original London production of We Will Rock You.

Personal life Edit

Kerry Ellis was born in 1979 in Haughley, a small village near Stowmarket, Suffolk, which is where she grew up with her older brother Andrew. She attended Stowmarket High School and in 1995, Ellis joined the team of Starmakers at the age of 16, with which she was involved until 1997. Following this, Ellis returned to formal stage training at Laine Theatre Arts.

Theatre career Edit

In 1996 and 1997, as a member of Starmakers, Ellis performed musical numbers such as Memory from Cats and Sun and Moon from Miss Saigon. In 2000, Kerry became a member of the My Fair Lady cast and became second understudy to Martine McCutcheon for the lead role of Eliza Dolittle, which she got to play on multiple occasions. During 2000 Ellis also understudied Marti Webb in Magic Of The Musicals.

KerryEllis
Kerry Ellis as Elphaba
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In 2002, Ellis originated the role of Meat in We Will Rock You, and played this role for two years, making appearances for performances such as "Party in the Park", "Party in the Palace" and "Parkinson". Ellis left the cast of We Will Rock You on April 17th 2004 and went on to play Ellen in Cameron Mackintosh's UK tour of Miss Saigon. On June 7th, 2005 she joined the cast of Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre playing Fantine. Fantine is the mother of Cosette, who after Fantine's death goes to live with the main charcater Jean Valjean. On March 28th, 2010 Kerry Ellis took over the role of Nancy in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and departed when the production closed on January 8th, 2011.

WickedEdit

In 2006, Ellis joined the cast of West End's new production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where she was the original standby for Idina Menzel, who originated the lead role. Effectively, Ellis is the first British actress to play the role of Elphaba. On January 1st, 2007 Ellis took over the role full-time. For this performance, Ellis won "Best Takeover in a Role" at the 2008 Theatregoer's Choice Awards. [ 1 ] On June 7th, 2008 Ellis temporarily departed the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where she was succeeded by Alexia Khadime, and transferred to the Broadway production of Wicked with performances starting from June 17th, 2008. [1] Ellis replaced actress Stephanie J. Block, making her the first Elphaba to transfer from West End to Broadway, mirroring original Broadway cast member Idina Menzel who transferred to London to open the production. Ellis left the Broadway Company on November 9th, 2008 and she was replaced by Marcie Dodd. Ellis returned to the West End production on 1 December 2008, where she will stayed until May 9th, 2009 when Alexia Khadime returned to the role.

Other PerformancesEdit

On May 12th and 13th 2008, Ellis performed alongside Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal and Josh Groban in a special performance of Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Ellis appeared at the Royal Variety Performance on December 11th 2008 at the London Palladium for senior members of the Royal family. Ellis has also done the workshops for Way Beyond Blue, written by Imogen Stubbs and directed by Trevor Nunn and the title role in Helen of Troy, directed by Gary Griffin.

Singing career Edit

In 1999 Ellis sang on a recording for Children in Need and did a jingle for Capital Radio. In 2004 Kerry Ellis worked with Queen lead guitarist Brian May to record an orchestral version of the song " No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)", originally a Queen song and featured in the musical We Will Rock You. [2]

Ellis recently worked with Steve Sidwell to produce new recordings of the Wicked songs "I'm Not That Girl" and "No Good Deed". It was expected that a teaser CD of her forthcoming debut album, produced by Brian May in the time since Ellis left We Will Rock You and featuring drum tracks by Taylor Hawkins, would become available in June before she left for Broadway. [3]

The teaser CD was released on 7 July 2008 as Wicked In Rock and features rock versions of Wicked songs "I'm Not That Girl", "Defying Gravity" and a remastered version of her We Will Rock You song, "No One But You". The CD is on sale in London musical shop, Dress Circle, at the Gershwin Theatre and will be available on the British iTunes. A limited edition 12" vinyl has also been released to purchase from Dress Circle. [4]

During her time performing as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway, Ellis recorded a song for Scott Alan entitled "Behind these Walls". This song is featured on his album Keys. [5]

On 20 and 21 June 2009, Ellis will sing in the show "The Great British Songbook" at the Shaw Theatre. [ 9 ]

Her debut album Anthem was released on the 13th of September 2010

Defying Gravity AccidentEdit

   In one show, Kerry accidentilly hits the close to the lift with her broom. A piece of the costume gets stuck on the handle and she goes up hanging by a thread. She was fine, just frightened.

Theatre Edit

DatesShowRoleVenueNotes
2010 - 2011Oliver!NancyTheatre Royal Drury LaneClosing Cast
2009 - 2010Various ConcertsIncluding the ABBA tribute concert 'Thank You for the Music'
2009Kerry Ellis Sings the Great British SongbookShaw Theatre, LondonTwo concert style performances
2008 - 2009WickedElphabaApollo Victoria TheatreReturn to role.
2008WickedElphabaGeorge Gershwin TheatreTransfer contract [ 2 ]
2008ChessSvetlanaRoyal Albert Hall, LondonTwo-day limited engagement
2006 - 2008WickedElphabaApollo Victoria TheatreTook over role from Idina Menzel, previously the standby.
2005 - 2006Les MisérablesFantineQueen's Theatre
2004Miss SaigonEllenNational UK Tour
2002 - 2004We Will Rock YouMeatDominion TheatreOriginated role
2000My Fair LadyEliza Doolittle u/sRoyal National Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury LaneUnderstudied for Martine McCutcheon
Brian May & Kerry Ellis - Defying Gravity (Live)(04:18)
Defying Gravity in Rock
Kerry Ellis - I'm Not That Girl - Wicked In Rock(03:46)
I'm Not that Girl in Rock

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