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In Profile with Steph Parry

Wicked recently became the 9th longest-running show in the West End, and the award-winning musical remains one of the most popular draws in town as it enters its 10th year at the Apollo Victoria. Emma Hatton currently stars in the iconic role of Elphaba opposite Susannah Stevenson as Glinda, with Oliver Savile taking over the role of Fiyero this week to complete the love triangle. The updated 2015/16 cast premiered on Monday 21st September, and fans of the show can rest easy knowing that it will continue in very good hands. The talent runs throughout the ranks, right the way from the principal cast to its ensemble team, and part of that team is the featured ensemble member for this edition of In Profile: Steph Parry.

Steph Parry has made a very welcome addition to the London theatre scene since arriving here. She relocated from her hometown of Holyhead, North Wales after successfully gaining a place at Arts Educational Schools, London (ArtsEd) in 2001, graduating from there three years later with a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre. She has showcased her skills in one stage project after another since then, including appearances in West End shows, regional productions and touring musicals. One of her earliest professional jobs in fact, was as a Swing in the UK Tour of Annie. She also played Rosalind in the UK Open Air Tour of As You Like It, closely followed by the role of Helene in A Doll’s House at the Greenwich Playhouse.

She was kept busy in those early years of her career with a wide range of roles. She played Desdemona in Othello at the Lakeside Arts Theatre in Nottingham, Anybodys in West Side Story (Larnaca Festival, Cyprus), and had an ensemble role in the musical Blaze at the Bridewell Theatre. She also lent her impressive vocals to several productions with the company Showstoppers Worldwide, appearing as a lead vocalist on both the Taiwan Theatre Tour and in the show The Roaring 20’s. In 2008, she travelled to Cyprus for the ensemble role of Baroness Elberfeld in an international production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, at the Larnaca Amphitheatre, in addition to further roles here in the UK that included Brenda – and U/S Babe – in The Pyjama Game (Union Theatre) and Laurey in Oklahoma! (Broadway Theatre).

Following a stint in panto as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and The Seven Dwarves (Thameside Theatre, Grays), she was a lead vocalist in the touring show, Red Hot and Jazz, and then spent some time performing in the inaugural season of P&O’s Azura as a lead vocalist in a musical theatre-themed show, and also with her own solo cabaret.

She made a brief stop-off on our shores for the 2010/11 panto season, performing in Guildhall Arts Theatre’s production of Snow White in Grantham. Coincidentally, my daughter and I were spending Christmas with family in Lincolnshire that year and actually went to the Grantham pantomime, so were there to see Parry’s entertaining performance as the Wicked Queen.

Her ‘wicked ways’ continued in 2011 when she was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West in a production of The Wizard of Oz at The Playhouse, Weston-Super-Mare, and in that same year, also played Josephine Butler in the musical 1888 (Union Theatre), and Maude Bodley in Not Now Darling (UK Tour).

She made her first appearance in a West End show in 2012, joining the London company of the smash hit musical Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre. She performed as a member of the ensemble team and was also 1st Cover Dead Mam and 2nd Cover Mrs Wilkinson. She left in May 2013 after more than a year in the show, but having now made her debut on the West End stage, it wasn’t ready to let her go just yet. Instead, she moved across to the Novello Theatre to join the ensemble team of the long-running ABBA musical, Mamma Mia!, opening there as part of the new line-up on 10th June 2013. She covered and played a number of the female principal roles, as 1st Cover Tanya, 2nd Cover Donna Sheridan, and 3rd Cover Rosie.

She departed the West End production of Mamma Mia! the following June to join the international tour of the musical, in which she was Standby Tanya. Most recently, she was seen at the Landor Theatre playing the role of Mrs Meers in their production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Her other credits include Rina in a rehearsed reading of Waiting for God or…? (The Crucible Studio, Sheffield), as well as various television commercials.

She can currently be found at the Apollo Victoria, having recently joined the award-winning West End production of Wicked as part of the September cast change which saw Oliver Savile join leads Emma Hatton (Elphaba) and Savannah Stevenson (Glinda) in the role of Fiyero. She is a member of the show’s ensemble team, appearing on-stage in such roles as Midwife, and also covers the role of Madame Morrible. In fact, she got the chance to appear as part of the principal line-up in the role on Tuesday 22nd September, on what was only her second day in the land of Oz.

Steph Parry has enjoyed a varied and extensive stage career so far, and while she is currently set at the Apollo Victoria with Wicked for the foreseeable future, I don’t doubt that this talented performer will continue to climb the ladder and has many more exciting adventures still to come.

You can follow Steph on twitter: @ThatStephParry

By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25

Saturday 26th September 2015