Award-winning West End star Kerry Ellis is to perform at the Gaiety Theatre on Mother’s Day (Sunday).
Kerry has starred in West End and Broadway musicals and has achieved success as a recording artist signed to Universal Decca.
Kerry has a diverse repertoire as a solo artist, and regularly performs in collaboration with Queen guitarist Brian May.
On Sunday afternoon, prior to her evening concert, she will give a masterclass for 14 aspiring and budding singers at the theatre and concert ticket-holders are welcome to attend for no extra charge.
Kerry has been to the island before – usually for concerts – but is very much looking forward to returning to perform. ‘It will be a special evening because it’s actually my first Mother’s Day as a mother,’ revealed 34-year-old Kerry.
Asked what people can expect from her concert, Kerry said: ‘Last year I performed my own one-woman show at the London Palladium covering songs from my career. The show I’m bringing to the Isle of Man is loosely based on that. There will be some new surprises and a few songs that I have not performed before. The evening will be intimate, interactive and a lot of fun.’
Kerry loves performing and started out on the path to her dream job at an early age.
‘I started at a local dance class when I was about three, I always knew that I wanted to perform, there was just no question, I loved it,’ she said. ‘I guess it became serious when I went to a performing arts college. After leaving there I got my first job and the rest is history.’
After meeting Brian May in 2002, Kerry landed and created the role of Meat in the musical We Will Rock You. In 2006 she became the first British actress to perform the role of Elphaba in the West End smash Wicked, for which she won the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Takeover in a Role following the departure of Idina Menzel. Later that year she transferred to the Broadway production of Wicked and played Elphaba and won the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favourite Female Breakthrough Performance. Her other lead role credits include Nancy in Oliver!, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Ellen in Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Miserables.
What does Kerry love best about performing in musicals? ‘I love the journey a character takes you on, that you can be someone else for a few hours and dive into somebody else’s life.’
What is her favourite musical?
‘That’s really hard, all the musicals I’ve been in I’m in love with because they become such a big part of my life. Recently, I went to see the musical Once and fell in love with that. I also love War Horse.’
Speaking about Sunday’s masterclass, Kerry said: ‘I’m looking forward to working with the students. I hope people can come along, lose their inhibitions and have a lot of fun.’
She advised anyone who dreams of following in her footsteps to ‘never give up; it’s a tough industry but if you love what you do you will succeed’.
Kerry was complimentary of the island’s rising musical star 23-year-old Samantha Barks, who starred in the West End’s Les Miserables and the 2012 feature film, which Kerry also stars in. They first met on the show I’d Do Anything, when Kerry was mentoring for a day.
‘Sam was wonderful and a natural talent, she has gone on to be a wonderful actress and was fantastic in the film. She’s a lovely lady and I wish her all the best.’
For tickets for Kerry Ellis: Live in Concert, priced £28.60, call 600555 or online at www.villagaiety.com