The joy of theatre is that in comes in so many different forms, from plays and musicals to cabarets and comedy, and many more in between. One of the most fun types is immersive theatre, which brings the audience into the action to create a unique experience which differs with every performance. Running in London this summer is the immersive theatrical show, Alice’s Adventures Underground, created by Les Enfants Terribles and running at The Vaults under Waterloo Theatre until the end of August. The inhabitants of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland are brought to life by a 30-strong cast, which includes Rebecca Bainbridge. Actress, singer and musician, she has appeared in an array of stage productions both in and out of the West End, and now appears in this edition of In Profile as our featured performer.
Born and bred in London, Rebecca Bainbridge began working towards a career on the stage from a young age. She studied drama, singing and the violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before continuing her training at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, the independent performing arts school based in North London which also produced such other stage stars as Julie Atherton, Jon Robyns, Leanne Jones and Oliver Thornton. After 3 years of training, she graduated from Mountview in 2002 with a BA (Hons) in Performance, and since then, has proven herself a multi-talented performer through the impressive and diverse list of credits to her name.
Her first professional post-graduate job was the role of Chastity in a production of Anything Goes at the Landor Theatre. She followed that up with Woman 1 in You Might As Well Live (Jerwood Space) in 2003, before embarking on her first touring production, performing as Shirley and covering the roles of Vi/Maria Elena in the No. 1 UK Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.
She continued her travels into 2004, playing Ms Lynch in an international production of the musical Grease in Larnaca, Cyprus), and then taking on the roles of Magenta/The Usherette in The Rocky Horror Show (European Tour/Teatro Ciak, Milan). After that however, she returned to London to make her official West End début. She joined the cast of Jailhouse Rock at the Piccadilly Theatre, performing as a Swing and understudying the role of Peggy van Aulden. The show ran for just over a year in the West End, and following its closure, she involved herself in various projects, including as a singer on the film soundtrack of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Blues Soloist/Street Chorus in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Barbican Hall), and comedy performer in Newsrevue (Canal Cafe).
She then reprised her role as Magenta/The Usherette in The Rocky Horror Show , performing in Teatro Nazionale, Milan, before returning to life on the road. She spent the next year travelling the country in the 2006 UK Tour of the Rod Stewart musical, Tonight’s The Night, performing alongside such names as Rachel Tucker, Ryan Molloy and Rachel Wooding in her ensemble role of ‘Des’ree’. She was also 1st Cover Satan/Baby Jane in the show.
The West End stage beckoned her home again after that to join Rufus Norris’ revival of Cabaret. She played Fritzie/Violinist and was 1st Cover Sally Bowles in the all-new production, which opened at the Lyric Theatre in September 2006 and starred Anna Maxwell Martin (Sally), James Dreyfuss (The Emcee), Harriet Thorpe (Fraulein Kost) and Sheila Hancock (Fraulein Schneider). When Cabaret ended its run in June 2008, she moved on to further roles in a number of theatre-based projects, such as Queen Narcissa in Mother Goose (Liverpool Everyman Theatre), Lauren in Murder Mystery Musical (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh Festival) and Paula/Marilyn Monroe in Great Pretenders (Upstairs at the Gatehouse).
She then went back on tour as Gladys Pugh in the No. 1 UK Tour of Hi-de-Hi! in 2010, ending the year at the Waterloo East Theatre in the UK première of Striking 12, a musical re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson’s, The Little Match Girl, which was directed by Simon Greiff and led by Simon Bailey and Natasha Barnes. She played the role of the Narrator and additionally displayed her skills as a violinist in the Christmas season show, which ran from 7th December 2010 to 2nd January 2011.
She then appeared as Pam, The Knife Thrower’s Assistant in Les Enfants Terribles’ production of The Vaudevillains at The Lowry, Manchester, reprising the role at London’s Charing Cross Theatre before subsequently playing Nurse Flinn/Sandra in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the Leicester Curve and Maud Macbeth in Cinderella at the Playhouse Theatre in Liverpool.
2012 brought her her third West End show, as she became part of the West End production of the smash hit ABBA musical, Mamma Mia! She performed as part of the show’s ensemble, first at the Prince of Wales Theatre and then at the Novello Theatre, and was also 1st Cover Tanya and 2nd Cover Donna.
She left in 2013 and was next seen in Our House, playing the role of Kath Casey at the New Wolsey Theatre and on the UK Tour. Following that, she took on a variety of roles in Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales, an immersive fairy tale adapted and directed by Philip Wilson which ran at Shoreditch Town Hall in March/April 2014. Most recently, she starred in the musical adaption of the film, The Goodbye Girl, at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, playing the lead female role of Paula opposite Paul Keating as Elliot. She received glowing reviews for her performance, as too did the production, which ended its run on 28th February 2015.
Her other credits include appearing as a backing singer at Wembley Stadium for BBC1’s televised Concert for Diana, Mourner in the Working Title film King Bastard, and various TV commercials. She also performs as a member of the band Johnny The Fox, who regularly gig around London.
She can currently be found deep beneath Waterloo Station as part of the immersive experience of Les Enfants Terribles’ Alice’s Adventures Underground, a unique theatrical adventure that takes the audience down the rabbit hole and on a fantastical journey through Wonderland, where they’ll meet such iconic characters as the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts. The ‘enjoyably macabre’ show celebrates Lewis Carroll’s classic story in its 150th year, and was recently featured as a Top Pick in Time Out London.
Rebecca Bainbridge has been working in the industry for 10+ years now, and in that time, earned a wide array of theatre credits and a name for herself as a strong performer who always delivers. This talented actress has already achieved much in her career to date, and is sure to be entertaining theatre audiences for many more years to come.
You can follow Rebecca on twitter: @BeckyBainbridge
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Saturday 20th June 2015