In 2017, Sophie Evans joined the West End cast of Wicked as one of the lead characters Glinda, and after performing in over 650 shows, she left the production in summer last year. Before taking on the role of Glinda, Sophie performed in The Night Before Christmas and A Little of What You Fancy, both at Salisbury Playhouse, and toured internationally with Lord of the Dance, which included a three-month run on Broadway. For her first role, Sophie appeared as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium after finishing as runner-up on BBC’s Over the Rainbow in 2010, and last month, she reunited virtually with the rest of the finalists and Andrew Lloyd Webber for a 10th anniversary special performance of Over the Rainbow, raising money for MIND. After leaving Wicked, Sophie spent time on her music, and released her second album ICONS in October, and the following month, she co-hosted Children in Need The Big Welsh Show. Speaking with us, Sophie talks about playing Glinda in Wicked, reuniting with the other Dorothys and Andrew Lloyd Webber and releasing her second album ICONS.
You played Glinda in the West End production of Wicked, can you tell us about playing this role and was there anything that drew you to the musical?
Wicked is my all-time favourite musical, so, when the audition came through, it was a dream come true. I had a blast playing the role of Glinda and becoming her.
What was it like being part of the production and cast?
It’s one of my favourite things about my job, working with amazing people and becoming a family. I was extremely lucky both years at Wicked to have amazing cast and production members. They really keep you going when you’re maybe having a down day.
How did you feel on your last performance and what do you miss most about being in the show?
It was very emotional. I had done around 680 shows in total and it really felt like an end of an era for me. I was, however, very tired towards the end of the run. So, it felt right to be leaving on a high, but I miss it a lot now. I miss the feeling of being part of something as epic as Wicked.
The Glindas and Elphabas recently got together virtually for a performance of For Good for the Make a Difference Trust, what was this like to be part of?
This was an honour. As soon as I was asked, I filmed it. I’m such a big fan of the show, so, being able to be part of a video we can all keep and look back on with amazing alumni of the show was very special.
In 2016, you performed at Salisbury Playhouse in A Little of What You Fancy and The Night Before Christmas, how were these?
They were great. Both very different shows to what I had experienced previously. The Salisbury Playhouse is a very small, intimate venue, so that took some getting used to as you could see everyone’s faces right close up! They were great shows to be a part of.
How was it being part of Lord of the Dance as Erin the Goddess and opening on Broadway?
This was one of my favourite experiences ever! I travelled the world with the show and I truly think that’s the best way to see the world. Work and travel. We did three months on Broadway, eight weeks travelling around America finishing in Las Vegas, a tour of Canada finishing with a few weeks in Niagara Falls and also parts of China.
What was it like playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium?
This was my first ever job and I mean any job. I’ve been so lucky. I have the best memories of this show, learning about how it is done from the best. I owe a lot to this show.
What do you remember from your time on BBC’s Over the Rainbow, and how was it reuniting with the Dorothys and Andrew Lloyd Webber for the 10th Anniversary of the show in the Over the Rainbow online performance?
It was a wild time, I was only sixteen when I first auditioned. My life was whipped up into a frenzy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I made friends for life and gained exposure that you can’t even imagine. I was so happy to be able to get everyone together and create the 10th anniversary video. It took a lot of organising but we raised lots of money for the charity MIND and it’s something we can cherish.
Last year, you released your album ICONS, how long was it in the making and can you tell us more about it?
I really wanted something to focus on after leaving Wicked, so I decided to make my second album ICONS. I wanted to celebrate some of the people I love in the music industry hence the title. Every song on there has a meaning to me and you can still buy hard copies from me via my Instagram.
What was it like seeing the listeners’ response to the release?
It was amazing to see everyone’s positive reviews of the album and I’ve had lots of streams and sold a good amount of hard copies. It was all worth it.
What future plans do you have for music?
I really want to do a few more shows, but eventually, I would like to open my own drama group in Cardiff where I now live.
Can you tell us about some of your most recent concerts you’ve performed in?
I love concert work. You get to be yourself and share the stage with amazing performers and it never gets boring. Love at the Musicals was the last concert I did before we went into lockdown and it was fantastic. Collabro and Joe McElderry were the other performers and we had a blast.
What is West End Live like to be involved with?
West End Live is one of the most special occasions on the West End calendar. I love that it’s free for the public and they get to see all the amazing musicals in one place! London is very lucky to have this event.
How did you first get into acting and singing?
I did amaetur dramatics at my local theatre from the age of six.
You co-hosted Children in Need The Big Welsh Show last year, can you tell us about the experience?
Presenting is something I really want to get into more. I’ve made some great connections with the BBC in Wales and they kindly asked me to host Children in Need – I love talking to different people and presenting is something I am going to pursue further.
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