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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)

 

:: #004 - Cassidy Janson ::

Cassidy Janson Name: Cassidy Janson

Currently Playing: Ensemble (u/s Elphaba, u/s Nessarose)
[Editor Note: 16/07/07 - has now taken over as Stand-By Elphaba]

Joined The Cast: July 2006 - Original London Cast Member

Recently Seen In: Tick, Tick, Boom!, Footloose - The Musical, Snoopy - The Musical


CASSIDY JANSON is a member of the Original London Cast of Wicked. She is currently in the ensemble, but is also 1st understudy (after stand-by, Shona White) for Elphaba and 2nd understudy cover for Nessarose (after Caroline Keiff). Cassidy first played the role of Elphaba on 2nd January 2007, after illness forced Kerry Ellis (Elphaba) to take time off from the show, and at the time, new stand-by Elphaba, Shona White, was not fully rehearsed. Cassidy has now played the title role of Elphaba a total of 12 (and a half!!) times, but on a more normal night you can catch her in the ensemble as a Citizen of Oz, a Shiz Student, Emerald City Citizen, and most importantly - a Flathead!!! To read Cassidy'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 ::

Had you seen any of the other Wicked productions prior to accepting the role?
Yes. I saw Idina on Broadway in August 2004. I remember sitting there gob smacked, thinking it was the best thing I've ever seen.

Have you read Maguire's novel, Wicked - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West?
Yes. Just after I saw the show on Broadway. I loved it. Very dark and political. Totally different from the Disney-esk Theatre show!

What is your favourite song?
No Good Deed.

What is your favourite scene?
I rather enjoy the scene we call "Fallen House'' the scene where Elphaba and Galinda really let rip at each other. The dialogue/slaps/ catfight/ Fiyero's rope swing, are all great moments.

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

What is your favourite ensemble / Elphaba costume?
Okay errmm... ensemble, probably my Ozdust, and my Elphie has to be the act 2 dress. It's just incredible to wear.

Who is your favourite character?
My flathead has a great character and through story, don't you think? ;-)

What are your characters top 3 priorities in life?
If you mean what Elphies 3 priorities in life are... I think it's to look after her sister, gain her Father's love, and to trust her instincts.

Have you had any prop / make-up / costume mishaps? If so, what?
Too many!!!! Well we've all heard about my flathead fall. That has to be my number one! And when I went on for Elphaba on 6th January matinee, the zip on my dress in one short day came off and during the wizard's chamber it came completely open and Helen had to hold it on!

What is the official term for the Umpa Lumpa / Humpty wizard things?
Flathead

How do you see when you are in the Umpa Lumpa / Humpty costume?
There are gauzes in the mouth

After many discussions, we have come to the conclusion you are the Umpa Lumpa / Humpty that enters from SL, crosses the stage and exits SR.Can you please put everyone out of their misery, which one are you?
If I tell you it would spoil the fun ;-)

Who else is an Umpa Lumpa / Humpty with you?
Simon Hardwick and Tim Walton

Thanks to Martin's blog, your Umpa Lumpa / Humpty fall has become infamous. What was that whole experience like?
All I can say is I was laughing harder than anyone else. I couldn't speak afterwards!!!

What has been your worst on-stage mishap (other than the above) so far, as either ensemble or Elphaba?
See previous "prop / make-up / costume mishaps" question

Of the different ensemble characters that you play, do any of them have names? If so, which ones and what are their names?
No official names, but Paul Ayres and I a while ago decided our Shiz characters were Poo Poo and Pee Pee ( as in longstocking, due to my wig ) respectively.

Do you get to be a monkey at any point?
Nope.

Which do you prefer performing - your ensemble parts or Elphaba?
Take a crazy stab at that one?!!!

Personally, are you more a Galinda or an Elphaba?
I'm sort of a nice blend of the 2.

Recently, you unexpectedly went on for your very first performance as Elphaba. What went through your mind when you got the phone call to say you were going on that night?
Well I was already on the train heading into work when my phone went at half 5. I was funnily enough running Elphaba lines when Wyn called! I thought he was joking at first as Kerry had been in full song the night before. Once I realised I had to go on, the adrenalin hit so fast I immediately had to go... and not for a wee if you know what I mean??? I called my mum and my agent (who both made it that night!) I had no time to run lines, no time to panic, no time to get nervous, I just got to the theatre, picked my things up, went to Kerry's dressing room and warmed up. The next thing I knew I was waiting behind the clock for my first entrance thinking... 'this is it... focus, listen and be truthful'

How did you find your first night performance?
Surreal and unexpectedly enjoyable!

For those that have yet to see you as Elphaba, how would you describe the way that you play Elphaba?
I think I play her quite vulnerable and hopeful. I'm one of the younger Elphies too, so she may come across as more youthful than some of the others.

Have you changed anything about your performance from your first night to your more recent performances?
Oh yes. Tonnes! I got notes left, right and centre! I also asked everyone to tell me what they needed or thought I could try.

How do you feel being in the ensemble helps your performance of Elphaba, in terms of stage chemistry with the others?
Well I imagine that as I'm very comfortable with the company it made me feel safe being chucked on as I knew how supportive they all are.

Your 'Elphaba' is very angry throughout the show. How do you prepare / get into that frame of mind so you can pull off 'seriously angry' for 3 straight hours?
I think she's more impulsive rather than just plain 'angry'.

Occasionally, the producers are nice and allow understudies on for the odd scheduled performance here and there. Is there any chance you will be getting some scheduled Elphaba performances between now and July? If so, when?
Nope. Nothing is planned.

As well as ensemble and Elphaba cover, you are also cover for Nessarose. How do you go about making sure you do not get your lines confused?
Just make sure I say the lines that I say when I'm sitting in a chair and make sure I say the lines that I say when I'm green!

Since you have now had the opportunity to play Elphaba, are you keen to have a chance at playing Nessarose?
I think it will be an interesting experience. It's always good to see a show from another perspective.

How would you play Nessarose?
You'll have to wait and see.

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?
Madame Morrible... she's so calculating.

If you were stranded on a desert island with any character from Wicked, who would it be and why?
One of the flatheads. I could use the costume as a tent.

Have you decided whether you will be staying at Wicked after 14th July, or do you have other plans?
I haven't decided yet.

Since we have been asking you all the questions, what question(s) you would like to ask the fans
How on earth do you afford this hobby????

Is there anything further you wish to add?
Thanks for being so lovely and supportive!!!


EDITOR'S NOTE: Ms Janson 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 Ms Janson for her time and effort that made the above interview possible.

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