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
It varies. Currently No Good Deed.
What is your favourite
Defying Gravity. I love the flying broom and then that
moment "Im the one you want. It's meeeee!"
Who is your favourite
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.
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
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!
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.