Lizzie Bea stepped into the role of Tracy Turnblad at London’s Coliseum last summer to rave reviews, previously appearing in the national tour of Kinky Boots, she’s no stranger to the stage, but Hairspray made her leading lady debut. We spoke to Lizzie about her role in the show Heathers currently playing at The Other Palace and being inspired by the legend Dolly Parton.
How did you get into acting, was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you?
I used to do a lot of amateur dramatics shows as a child! My dad made me audition for a local production of Annie when I was 7 and the rest is history! I was very lucky that my parents used to take my siblings and I to see a lot of theatre growing up. I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for my 7th birthday. We dug up the photos recently because I have now worked professionally with both Emma Williams and Michael Ball from that production which is just crazy to me!
What has been your favourite role you have played and why?
It has to be Tracy Turnblad. That role was such a dream for me and I still can’t believe that I got to do it. Tracy is such an inspirational character with such a strong moral compass and I felt so proud to be spreading her message of love and acceptance.
Can you tell us about your current project Heathers at The Other Palace, what drew you to the role of Martha Dunstock?
I have loved Heathers ever since a friend played me the soundtrack whilst I was at university. 4 years ago, a casting call went out on Spotlight for the original workshop at The Other Palace and I rang my agent and said “I have to be seen for it! I AM Martha!” I was lucky enough to get an audition and ended up doing the workshop which was the most incredible experience. So, Martha has been with me for a while now and I am so thrilled to finally be doing the full production! Martha is so true to herself and full of good and that is just so beautiful to me.
Do you have you a favourite song from the show or does it change on a day-to-day basis?
I think my 2 favourites have to be Dead Gay Son and Shine a Light. They’re both so clever because they are full of surprises and shock the audience. They’re also really fun to perform! My colleagues who sing them are also ridiculously talented!
Why should people come along to see Heathers?
Because it’s one of the craziest nights you’ll ever have in the theatre! If you don’t know the show at all you’ll be taken on such a journey and the show really does have everything: it’ll make you laugh, cry and everything in between.
What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
For me it’s just getting to call my biggest passion my job! Not a lot of people can say that and I really do know how lucky I am.
What’s been a funny moment for you on stage? Any mishaps you want to share!?
Mishaps?! I couldn’t possibly say! We are all so well behaved! Dead Gay Son is definitely the hardest number to keep a straight face in though!
Who are your influences and inspirations?
Dolly Parton is my biggest inspiration. She has had the most amazing career and has remained kind and compassionate throughout. I also credit a lot of how I approach my work to Jodie Prenger – I worked with her on Fat Friends and she was the most incredible company leader who took the job seriously, treated everyone with respect, but also had such a laugh! I’m very lucky to call her a friend.
Do you have any dream roles? Musical theatre or otherwise.
Absolutely! I know everyone says it but I’d love to play Elphaba in Wicked. Lucille Frank in Parade too – not a lot of people realise that she was plus size and I’d love to represent that.
Where can people follow your work on socials?
Follow me on Twitter @LizzieBea3.