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:: Citizens of Oz ::

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# 001
Kerry Ellis

(January 2007)

# 002
Martin Ball

(February 2007)

# 003
Helen Dallimore

(February 2007)

# 004
Cassidy Janson

(March 2007)

# 005
James Gillan

(April 2007)

# 006
Annalene Beechey

(May 2007)

# 007
Katie Rowley Jones

(June 2007)

# 008
Haydn Oakley

(September 2007)

# 009
Dianne Pilkington

(February 2008)

# 010
Nadine Cox

(May 2008)


:: #002 - Martin Ball ::

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Name: Martin Ball

Role Played: Dr. Dillamond

Joined The Cast: July 2006 - Original London Cast Member

Left The Cast: July 2007

Recently Seen In: Absent Friends, Dead Funny and Mamma Mia!

MARTIN BALL is a member of the Original London Cast of Wicked. He plays Elphaba's teacher, Dr Dillamond, and is just as concerned about the Animals as Elphaba is. Dr Dillamond is both her mentor and friend. For those more keen-eyed among you, you may have also noticed that Martin plays a Citizen of Oz in the opening show number, No One Mourns The Wicked. To read Martin's full biography, please click HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: This interview has been carried out specifically for WickedUK.co.uk. Reproduction of this interview, either in its entirety or partially, under any circumstances, is strictly prohibited. You are, however, very welcome to link back to this page.

:: The Interview ::

Have you seen any of the other Wicked productions prior to accepting the role?
No. I didn't even know what the show was about.

Have you read Maguire's novel, Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West?
I read it once I had the job, as "homework" for the project, if you like, and was surprised at how different and dark it was. It's an amazing imaginative leap from the original story, and the show is a further imaginative leap from the novel.

How do you think being in the opening sequence has helped your on-stage relationship with the other cast members?
I LOVE being in the opening mob. It's nice to all start the show together, and you get the day's gossip if you're there at the top of the show.

You have a lot of off-stage time, what do you do to entertain yourself?
I'm equity dep, so there are often various things that require chasing up or looking into, problems to be sorted etc. If not, I often stay understage, where everyone hangs out between scenes, and chat with people. Then there are usually three or four books on the go to dip into, plus often there's work to prepare for a voice over or whatever I'm doing in the day.

What is your favourite song?
It varies. Currently No Good Deed.

What is your favourite scene?
Defying Gravity. I love the flying broom and then that moment "Im the one you want. It's meeeee!"

Who is your favourite character?
Elphaba. Her journey is so interesting.

What is your favourite costume (does not have to be one of yours!)?
The emerald city costumes are wonderful. The finest of them all is our swing Ellie Colett's dress and hat. She's really tall and Susan Hilferty designs costumes that accentuate a person's body shape, not cancel it out, so Ellie just goes on forever in that frock. I could stare at it for hours.

What do you think are Dr Dillamond's strengths and weaknesses?
He's a great teacher, one who truly loves his work, which he sees as a vocation. He is also highly principled, with a strong sense of right and wrong. He is intelligent, seeing long before others do the trouble that lies ahead. In a sense he is much like the Austrian left wing intellectuals who saw the dangers in the approaching Anschluss in early 1938. As for his weaknesses, he's probably a little bit too fond of the sound of his own voice, but I'd never say that to his face. And his jokes aren't as funny as he thinks they are.

What qualities do you try and portray within the role of Dr D?
His passion for teaching. A sense of him being a fundamentally good man who insists on speaking out even though he knows it could put him in personal danger.

What has been your worst on-stage mishap so far, if any?
I've lost my tail twice, once in the middle of the stage, where Miriam saw it and kicked it firmly off, and I've lost my collar as well. I forgot a line the other day, and had to do a bit of extra thinking acting while I made something up that fitted.

Have you had any prop/make-up/costume mishaps? If so, what?
The blackboard didn't come on the other day which scared me, as all I could think of was how to get out of not having any graffiti to discover. Luckily half way through the scene out of the corner of my eye I spotted someone sneakily pushing it on, with that tell tale body language that says "I'm not really here, don't mind me".

Is the paper that you eat, that's wrapped around Elphaba's lunch, edible paper or normal paper?
It's delicious rice paper, like you get at weddings, taped to the top of normal paper. I look forward to it every night, although I'd enjoy it more if I didn't have to sing a rather convoluted few sentences immediately after putting it in my mouth.

Do you actually eat the paper or just chew it?
Eat and swallow, sometimes including the sellotape which is disgusting. I have to, as there's nowhere to hide it, and no way to get it out of my mouth discreetly with hooves on!

How come Galinda is not in your second class (when you are taken away)?
Good question. On a technical plot level she's not there because it allows Fiyero and Elphaba to escape together and her presence brings up awkward questions like would Elphaba have frozen Galinda or not etc. I asked Helen about it and she said that Galinda is the sort of girl who drops out of classes and wouldn't bother turning up for a Dr Dillamond boring history class if it clashed with something more important like, say, a manicure!

Why, despite Galinda not being present, do you have a line that is virtually directed at her ("thanks for sharing your essays... however feebly structured")?
Although he is referring to Galinda initially I think it's clear from Dr Dillamond's first line, in which he expresses amazement at some half decent essays, that there've been quite a number of "feebly structured" essays recently from this class.

If you were stranded on a desert island with any character from Wicked, who would it be and why?
What an interesting question! I suppose it would have to be Elphaba. You could trust her, and her values are good and right. The worst would be the Wizard. He'd drive you mad!

The majority of the principle characters are as 'wicked' or more so than 'the Wicked Witch'. In your opinion, who is the wickedest person in the show and why?
Oh the Wizard. Anyone who consciously sets people against each other ("what we all need is a common enemy" or whatever the line is,) is against everything that humanity is about, and in that sense is wicked. George Bush is another.

Everyone is missing your blogs. Is there any news as to when they might start up again?
I'm flattered to hear that! I was originally asked to do the blog until Opening Night, on 27th Sept. People were so kind and encouraging about it I promised to do an occasional update, then my computer got stolen which put an end to that! I'm pleased to say I am typing this on my brand new computer which arrived the other day! The first thing to do is to re shoot our backstage tour. I've forgotten how to edit video - I was only learning when I did the last video blogs - so it'll be slow going, I suspect. Don't hold your breath!

Since everyone has been asking you questions, what question(s) would you like to ask the fans?
There are lots of different forums and groups of Wicked fans. I'd love someone to come up with a good nickname for Wicked fans, a single title under which all the various fan groups could unite! That would make me happy.

Have you decided whether you will be staying at Wicked after 14th July, or do you have other plans?
I have no other plans, but will probably leave. It will be a wrench to leave such a happy company and such a special show, but I feel perhaps it would be the right thing to do. I'm not absolutely decided.

Is there anything further you wish to add?
Just to thank you for inviting me to Q and A. To be following Kerry is a great honour since she's the lead and I have the smallest part of all. I''m not sure how I got to be jumped to the front of the queue!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr Ball very kindly agreed to answer the above questions for us here at WickedUK.co.uk. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Ball for his time and effort that made the above interview possible.


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