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Interview with Louise Dearman

by Emily Healey-Lynham

Louise Dearman is a British actress and singer, perhaps best known for playing Glinda and Elphaba in the West End production of the musical Wicked. Notably, she is the only actress to have played both witches in any production of Wicked. Louise is appearing in Mimma the Musical A New Musical of War & Friendship at Cadogan Hall for one night only in February, alongside Sir David Suchet, Celinde Schoenmaker, John Owen Jones, Ashley Riches and Elena Xanthoudakis and the BBC Concert Orchestra led by Richard Balcombe. We got to speak to Louise about the piece and what to expect from this one night only show.

How did you get into acting, was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you? 

I started dancing when I was three, it was just a fun hobby to begin with but at the age of twelve I joined a school choir and we auditioned for and got into Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at The London Palladium. This gave me my first real taste of what becoming a professional actress in musical theatre would be like and I was hooked. It really was this show which struck a chord and so I then went on to train professionally at Laine Theatre Arts.

What has been your favourite role you have played and why? 

I honestly couldn’t pick one!! I’ve loved each and every role I’ve played. I always wanted to have a varied career and to play as many different roles as I could. I feel I’m achieving that and I’m so grateful for every opportunity.

Can you tell us about your current project Mimma at Cadogan Hallwhat drew you to the role?

I’m always intrigued by new work and to play a small part in developing a role, so when Mimma landed on my agent’s desk and I read the script and heard the music, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Telling the story of two very different women, from very different worlds who come together and form such a strong bond amongst the chaos and heartbreak of war felt so powerful. The music delicately flows between soaring Italian arias, smooth jazz and classic musical theatre which also sounded so interesting to me. The creative team working on this musical were also a huge pull!

Do you have you a favourite song from the show or does it change on a day-to-day basis?

It totally depends on what mood I’m in. Whiskey Neat is fun, but I also love my duets with Mimma played by the wonderful Celinde Schoenmaker.

Could you compare the score to anything else that you have done?

I really can’t. It’s unique and incredibly catchy.

Why should people come along?

People should come to see Mimma because it’s so rare that we get a chance to present new Musical Theatre work with a 50-piece orchestra let alone The BBC Concert Orchestra, a wonderful cast and in such a stunning venue. It’s a beautiful story which will hopefully make you laugh and cry and leave feeling like you’ve been on a journey with the characters. Nobody has ever seen this musical in this country so I say grab a ticket and be there first.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work? 

Seeing and feeling the audience reaction. Knowing that you’ve brought joy and escapism for an evening.

What’s been a funny moment for you on stage?  Any mishaps you want to share!? 

Too many to share!!!! Falling over smack bang in the middle of the stage after an over enthusiastic high kick in Evita!

Who are your influences and inspirations? 

I was always hugely influenced by pop artists growing up. Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey. It wasn’t until I started considering musical theatre as a career that I developed such strong respect and admiration for musical theatre actresses such as Ruthie Henshall and Linzi Hateley.

Where can people follow your work on socials?

Twitter @louisedearman, Insta @louisedearmanofficial

See Louise in Mimma at Cadogan Hall on the 28th of February for a special semi-staged gala concert performance. 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will go to The Prince’s Trust.

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