Currently, Alžbeta Matyšáková is rehearsing for their professional debut in Legally Blonde as Enid Hoops, with the musical set to run at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 13th May until 2nd July, and it will be directed by Lucy Moss. Alžbeta graduated from Italia Conti, having trained during the pandemic, and they appeared in a number of shows whilst there, including playing Fastrada in Pippin and most recently playing Tommy in Carrie. Ahead of the Legally Blonde opening in London, Alžbeta answers our questions about being cast as Enid Hoops in the musical, making their professional debut at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and training with Italia Conti.
How did it feel booking your role of Enid Hoops in Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre?
Honestly it was the most surreal feeling! I don’t think it’s hit me yet that I get to be a part of such an incredible production. All I remember is screaming aimlessly the second I got off the call telling me I booked it – my body had no other way to process the news!
Can you tell us about your character and what do you think you’ll bring to the role?
Enid is a beautifully queer social justice warrior adamant on dismantling the patriarchy! Being able to explore the queer side of Enid in relation to other characters has been so interesting and it adds a loveable depth to them!
What was it like reading the script for the first time and how are you finding rehearsing for the musical?
So, we actually did the first read-through after learning most of the songs so we could do a sing-through too! This was such a cool way of doing it as we got to get the full magic of the book within the read-through! The energy when we read it the first time was so electric – it’s a really special show to be a part of.
Rehearsals have been incredible too – being able to bring new ideas to these characters and building them from scratch has really made this show feel completely new. There’s also something so powerful about looking around the rehearsal room and seeing a diverse cast – knowing I’m not the only trans person in the cast is honestly so calming – and seeing the POC representation is beautiful and long overdue!
Is there anything you’re looking forward to most for being part of the cast and opening on 13th May?
I think I’m most looking forward to taking my first bow – very cheesy – but there’s something cathartic about being able to do my first professional bow as a start to my career! Also, I’m looking forward to just spending time with the cast. They’re all so fantastic both on and off stage. It’s such a pleasure to be able to work with them all!
What originally drew you to the musical and how much did you know about the production before auditioning?
I’ve seen a few am-dram productions of the show and I remember really enjoying it – and, of course, the movie is ICONIC – so being offered a chance to audition was fabulous! I knew that the show wanted to replicate a realistic group of people in 2022 and shine a light at groups that aren’t being represented enough in theatre which is exactly what we need to be doing!
How do you feel you’ll find the experience making your professional debut in Legally Blonde at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre?
I think realistically I am going to be very stressed as everything is completely unchartered waters for me but at the same time I know I’m going to have the BEST time! Being able to share such a moment in my career with this cast and crew is such a blessing!
Who do you think the show will appeal to and why would you recommend booking tickets for the new production in London?
I think the show is appealing to anyone looking for a piece of feel-good theatre! There are so many elements in this production which can appeal to younger audiences – but I think the show is created to be a well-rounded show with something in it for everyone.
Where does your love of acting come from and is it something you always wanted to do?
I have always loved performing – I was a very dramatic child so it just made sense! My sister and I used to play make believe games all the time growing up, which is where the love for acting stemmed from, I think! I did ballet classes at home in Newport when I was little, and then fell across my incredible vocal coach back home too! When I realised that I can do singing and dancing together as well as acting I realised it’s something that I loved and something must’ve clicked inside my brain as it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do ever since.
You trained at Italia Conti, was there anything that encouraged you to train there?
My vocal coach from Newport – Simon Pearce – is an alumni of Conti, and seeing how fantastic his career was, I was inspired to model my own career off of it!
How has your time been training during the pandemic and being part of Italia Conti over the years?
Training through the pandemic has been really hard – there’s absolutely no denying that. There are so many things I know I missed out on because of it – however, I think it’s taught me different ways of performing and made me a lot more tech-savvy!
You most recently performed in Carrie, how was this?
Performing in Carrie was really interesting! It was the first time I had played a role that was written as a cis-man but with my approach and portrayal – I made Tommy a non-binary character! There was an interesting depth that added to the dynamics on stage once I decided this and it was interesting to be able to portray that representation in the show. Working with the cast was very lovely too – I got to act alongside two of my housemates which was so inspiring and it brought a nice closure to our final performance at Conti.
Can you tell us about some of the other productions/workshops you’ve been involved with while there?
My first third year production was Pippin, where I played Fastrada. This show was really special to me as throughout the process I came to terms with my gender identity. Our take on the show was a focus on gender throughout and I was really lucky to be able to work with a non-binary director – Georgie Rankcom – and a queer creative team – Billy Cullum and Arlene McNaught. The show was a powerhouse – every element of it worked so well and being able to perform it for an audience was magical!
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch and which would you like to see that you haven’t done so as yet?
I would really love to see Life of Pi – I’ve heard incredible things about it and would love to watch it if I have a chance! My favourite theatre show at the moment would have to be Anyone Can Whistle!
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I like to spend time with my friends as much as I can – I think it’s so important to have a life outside of your career so spending quality time with people is really necessary.
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