Musical Theatre star Lucie Jones will celebrate the festive season in style with a Christmas headline homecoming show at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on December 13. The Pentyrch-born star will showcase hits from her stage career, before presenting one further Christmas show in London the following day.
Lucie first rose to fame as a finalist on ITV’s The X Factor in 2009 and has gone on to star in roles such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Maureen in RENT and Molly in Ghost, as well as representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017.
Lucie recently played Jenna Hunterson in Waitress for the show’s first UK tour, having first played the role at London’s Adelphi Theatre and will be seen in the West End from February in the iconic role of Elphaba in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
Andy Howells recently caught up with Lucie to discuss her Christmas shows, which will feature her performing favourite Christmas songs alongside showtunes, accompanied by her live band and an appearance from special singing guest, John Owen Jones.
So, Lucie, you’ve got your special Christmas show coming up next week?
After such a terrible year its just the icing on the cake. I just want to do something bright and joyful. bring people together in a room, tell some stories, sing some songs, and just have a nice joyous experience. Because we deserve it after last year, don’t we?
Of course, you have just completed a successful run as Jenna in the West End and UK Tour of Waitress and will soon embark on the role of Elphaba in Wicked. But, you were constantly busy, through lockdown too, involved in a variety of theatre related projects.
Thank you. The main reason I love what I do is we help other people escape for half an hour, like an event I’m going to do today at the Theatre Café where there’s lots of students coming who had lots of plans to see shows with their schools and have had their trips cancelled, so today’s a little escape for them.
When you’re doing a full musical or a show, you can let someone escape for a few hours and see joy in someone else’s story and I think that’s the most amazing thing. It was more important than ever during lockdown because between all the doom and gloom we need each other. We need some joy, singing, laughter and tears, that aren’t directly related to the experiences we’ve been living over the last couple of years.
How difficult has it being for you to leave such a hugely successful show such as Waitress?
I joined Waitress in the December of 2018 and then I started the West-End show, 3 or 4 months after that having gone to New York and done lots of things with them on Broadway. I was on the billboard in Time Square, so its being a huge part of my life! We had that taken away when we were in the middle of a successful show and COVID unfortunately closed us.
I got the opportunity to go back out on the road for a while with the tour, but when you sign a contract for these jobs you must think about how long you want to be doing it and what suits your personal lifestyle at home. I said to my management that the only show I’d leave this role for is Wicked and so they had a conversation with the producers of Waitress about that and they said, “If she gets Wicked, we’ll release her from the contract,” and I did!
It wasn’t as easy as “I’ve got the part in Wicked, so I’m off! See you!” because my heart is still very much with Jenna and Waitress. I love that role and its my life in many ways! So, for the last four or five weeks of the tour I was breaking my heart every might on stage. Its exhausting to feel that way, but its worth it because I will never play another role like that.
As much as I’m looking forward to the next role and the challenge of taking on Elphaba is my dream role, it won’t feel the same as Jenna because she was my first major role in the West End and wears her heart so firmly on the outside of her sleeve and gives it to everyone every day.
It’s been quite an emotional experience and whether you have something to move on to or not, its just part of the gig and it is hard. I speak to my friends and family about it and say I’m feeling emotional about this today and that’s important.
How do you prepare yourself for such a role as Elphaba in Wicked?
I’ve been researching since August when I found out I got the role. I’ve been working with my singing teacher, analysing the script, reading about other characters similar to Elphaba and what she is throughout the show. I’ve looked at The Wizard of Oz! Its more about understanding exactly who Elphaba is and vocally that I can sing and keep the role exciting, as well as the audiences happy!
What can you tell us about your Christmas Show’s coming up in Cardiff and London soon?
There’s a couple of songs in there that I have sung in musicals that you would expect to hear from me, but then there’s a few you maybe wouldn’t expect to hear. What I love is when I do a gig and sing something I maybe haven’t performed before and someone will contact me on social media and say, “Because you sang that song, I listened to the album and went to see the show,” so I love to do that kind of thing.
There will be a boat load of classics as well as my special guest, John Owen Jones!
What are you most looking forward to over Christmas?
I’m looking forward to being with my family altogether, because obviously we couldn’t be last year.
There is also these concerts and the celebration of being able to do them! I’m going to try and give people a fun, warm Christmassy evening and send them on their way with sparkly hearts!
- Lucie Jones will play St David’s Hall, Cardiff on Monday December 13. Visit online for ticket details.