How many of us cast ourselves and our friends in roles when we watch shows? With so many great characters to chose from who would you be?
Whenever you read an interview with actors they are always asked what their dream role would be. They are often limited by age, gender and sometimes ability and so have to choose roles within these constraints. If we were to remove these however, who would you chose? Here's my list of dream roles from some of the biggest musicals in the West End!
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre - Elphaba obviously! Who wouldn't want to be one of the coolest characters ever written for a women. With green makeup, a really sassy girl power attitude and some of the most power musical theatre songs ever written, she is for many women, myself included the number one must have role.
Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre - This is a tricky one. As a woman you know you've got older when you can no longer play Eponine and would have to chose Fantine (then eventually Madame Thenardier!). If the gender constraints aren't there though I would chose to play Enjolras. He is just so suave and unswerving in his commitments. He has some great songs, a fab costume and a really cool death.
Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre -As much as I love the part of Kim I would chose to be Gigi in Miss Saigon. She is just that bit cooler and gets some dressing room downtime which Kim doesn't. I also love the part of John, but mostly because he gets one of the best songs in the show. The rousing 'Bui Doi' must be amazing to sing with such a fabulous male ensemble backing you.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory At The Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Augustus Gloop. You get to drink chocolate. Enough said!
Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre - Bruce Bogtrotter is by far the best part in this show. This is a musical all about children and although some of the adult characters are good, none of them are anywhere near as good as Bruce. After the really clever cake eating scene Bruce gets to perform the song 'Revolting Children' in a very Elvis come Pharaoh from Joseph style. The height of cool!
Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre -Donna. As a woman of a certain age the obvious choice for this show would be to play Donna, and even though I did say age and gender were no object I would still choose this role. She gets the best songs with the wonderfully heart breaking 'Slipping Through My Fingers', and 'The Winner Takes It All', but also gets to sock it to the audience with the disco classic 'Dancing Queen'. It must be amazing for Dianne Pilkington to look out every night and see a full theatre dancing and singing along with her.
The Book of Mormon at the Prince Of Wales Theatre - Elder Cunningham. This is a show with few female characters and although Nabulungi played by Alexia Khadime is good, the boys are much better. My favourite is Elder Cunningham. He is the unlikely hero of the piece with such a wonderful repertoire of songs from 'Baptise you' to 'Man up' that leave you feeling so full of fun.
Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre - Debbie. Mrs Wilkinson, currently played by Ruthie Henshall has a straight speaking and potty mouthed daughter called Debbie who befriends Billy at their ballet classes. Debbie has a fairly small role in the show, but with so many classic lines she is always someone you remember.
The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre -The Phantom. This is all about the X-Factor. The Phantom, played currently by Geronimo Rauch, is just so cool and mysterious. If I could lower my voice a bit more I'm sure once I was wearing the mask and the cape no-one would notice that I'm actually a woman, right?
Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre - Bobby. Bobby starts out as someone who sweeps the radio studio and graduates to being an all singing, all dancing local TV star. With cheeky lines and some great dance numbers, he would be my choice to play in Memphis.
Cats at the London Palladium -Mungojerrie or Rumpleteazer. This is another tricky one. Although Grizabella has been hailed as the lead in this show with big names like Nicole Sherzinger and Kerry Ellis being drafted in to play her and to sing the shows most famous song 'Memory' this isn't who I'd chose. I love Skimbleshanks, Mr Mistoffelees, and Macavity, but given the choice I would play Mungojerrie or Rumpleteazer. They are just so naughty.
If I had to choose one character out of my list to play, it would definitely be Elphaba in Wicked. Although it's nice to think of playing a cat or the Phantom, in the end you will always feel more comfortable with a character whom you can empathise with and feel an affinity for and for me that is undoubtedly Elphie.
By Nicky Sweetland
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