On Saturday 5th Feb the latest bunch of students will graduate from Shiz University into the big, wild world. It is set to be an emotional day both for them and for us so we thought it would be nice to pay our own little tribute.
Lee Mead- Fiyero
Lee joined the cast late due to touring the country in the play, Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime but when he joined his new teammates he was primarily known for three things; winning the BBC’s hunt for a Joseph programme, his curly locks and for being married to Denise van Outen!
Never before (well, Kerry Ellis aside) has a performer in this show caused more outpouring and discussion on internet message boards. Lee was no Oliver Tompsett, but nor did he try to be. He brought a different side to the character with his “let the green girl go” being particularly triumphant. If the screams at curtain call are anything to go by, I think his performances have gone down well!
What next? Lee is a successful recording artist, having sold over 200,000 copies of his debut album. Gigs have been scheduled though the UK so look for dates and he also has a tour of Japan to look forward to at the end of the year. This will all be mixed in with the joys of feeding and nappy changing for baby Betsy. Follow his career on www.twitter.com/leemeadofficial
Danny Mac- Ensemble and understudy Boq
Chirpy, cheeky cockney Danny is an integral part of the Ensemble and brings to it so much energy and enthusiasm and those who were lucky enough to see him in one of his Boq shows will agree what a talented performer he is.
Away from the show, he keeps fans entertained on Twitter with his antics (a highlight being when he dropped his expensive sunglasses in the River Thames) and has a lovely array of hats, but don’t think that despite his good looks and obvious talents that he is perfect. He isn’t; he supports Chelsea Football Club. Well, can’t have everything I suppose!:)
What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dannymaconline and wait and see.
Lucy Newton- Swing
For those who don’t know, Swings are those multi talented peeps who learn lots of roles so they can be prepared to cover when people are ill or when they are on holiday.
I have seen her in many parts; from the Goat midwife, to a Shiz Student, to Glinda to not being in the show at all. The latter I did not like so much! That is the nature of being a Swing… sometimes they aren’t on which is such a crying shame as she is far too talented to be sat backstage.
Her appearances as Glinda were a revelation and you would have thought she had been playing the role for months. It was a joy to see her as a lead; I doubt it will be the last time!
What next? She is joining Pricilla in London’s West End. Follow her at www.twitter.com/MissLucyNewton
Lewis Bradley- Ensemble and understudy Fiyero
I feel I must start with an apology to Lewis. When he was cast I had my theatre snob hat on and thought it was “name” casting (Lewis, having been made famous for being on the BBC Joseph programme alongside Lee Mead). He was thrown into the deep end having to play Fiyero for about a month as Lee was to join the company later and he got sterling reviews. He was fantastic. I will hold my hands up and say I was completely wrong. I loved watching Lewis, whether in the Ensemble or as Fiyero and he will be a big miss.
Away from the stage we can only hope he continues to keep us amused with his random Tweets of the most obscure facts you will ever find.
What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LewisBradley89 and wait and see.
George Ure- Boq
George’s West End debut was in the Wicked Ensemble and then went on to be full time Boq, attracting a legion of faithful followers along the way. Random fact (in the style of Lewis Bradley)
did you know that when you misspell his first name the suggested spelling is ‘gorge’? Rather apt.
Such a lovable and lovely guy both on and off the stage.
He broke the nation’s hearts this week when he Tweeted that he was packing up his dressing room. It seems all too real now.
We will miss his George Cam behind the scenes videos “ciao for now”, screaming “iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttsssssss Boq” and the cheeky wink at Glinda when he asks Nessa to the dance.
Cassi Compton- Nessarose
Most of us knew Cassie from the X Factor 2004, a finalist in Sharon’s 16-25 category, but she was also an accomplished theatre performer having appeared in Dirty Dancing, Les Mis and Whistle Down the Wind.
Cassie brings such warmth to her Nessa, but also does angry second Act Nessa very well too, belting out a mean Wicked Witch of the East.
What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cassicompton and wait and see.
Lauren James Ray- Ensemble and u/s Nessarose
Lauren is the best thing to come out of Wales since Ryan Giggs!
A rising star of the theatre world and multi talented. As if being an ensemble star, great dancer and beautiful wasn’t enough, she is a fantastic singer songwriter as well. Sickening really isn’t?!
I will personally miss her mad Shiz student wigs and her epic “nobody cares they wont return” growling. Her debut as Nessarose was generally agreed by all present to be triumphant!
What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LaurenJamesUK
and wait and see.
Sam Wilmott- Ensemble + Chistery
Affectionately known as Monkey Boy, Sam is a fantastic member of the cast who throws himself into every performance… literally! Leaping off ladders, swinging on ropes, climbing on frames, flying around the stage… Crikey.
Not only that, he is a great drummer and a very talented artist (as the huge bids for his work in the recent Wicked Day eBay auction will testify!)
What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/monkeyboy000
and wait and see.
Stevie Tate- Ensemble and u/s Nessa and u/s Elphaba
Fiyero’s man bag holder and multi talented performer. Sadly, I did not manage to see her as Elphaba (I heard the audios… wow!) but she was magnificent as Nessarose.
Tweeted this week “already had a little cry and I’ve got 7 shows left”. You’re not the only one!
What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stevietate
and wait and see.
Farewell and good luck to all our students, I am sure they will all do us proud.