The Fame Reporter interviewed versatile stage actress Antonia Marr.
Antonia is thrillified to be heading back to the land of Oz in Matt Ward Entertainment’s Wicked the musical at HOTA on the Gold Coast and cannot wait to create some havoc in the east!
Antonia graduated from Doreen Bird College in London and began her career as Tiger Lily in Peter Pan. Since leaving the UK, she has been performing her way around the world as Elphaba in Wicked at Universal Studios Japan, Bride of Frankenstein at Universal Studios Singapore, Belle at Hong Kong Disneyland and as a lead vocalist for Princess Cruises. Antonia then relocated to Australia, where she performed as Francisca in West Side Story for The Production Company in Melbourne.
More recently, Antonia featured in QPAC’s sold out season of Rent the musical, stepping in as Mimi for the final two performances, and she is currently the lead female vocalist at Dracula’s Cabaret on the Gold Coast.
We talked to Antonia about her role as The Wicked Witch of the East, what it’s like performing at Disneyland, what audiences can expect from Wicked and more.
See our interview below!
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Antonia, what sparked your interest in performing initially?
My parents said I used to watch “The Sound of Music” on repeat and that I had learnt all the song lyrics by the age of three, so I think it was just in my blood.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts about rehearsing for your role as Nessarose in Wicked and what drew you to the role?
Being in a wheelchair has its own learning curve, which I find challenging and extremely humbling – we take so many things for granted, like the ability to use our legs!
I remember watching the musical for the first time on the West End and I found myself unable to relate to Nessa. I really wanted to play her so that I could explore and discover why she is the way that she is and the circumstances that led her to become the Wicked Witch of the East.
Finding that empathy for her and being able to bounce my character’s emotions off our incredibly talented cast of Wicked is what has been most rewarding.
What is it like performing at themeparks like Universal Studios and Disneyland in comparison to performing on stage 8 shows a week?
Theme parks have much shorter shows that are performed more regularly, so you have to have a really different mindset. For example, with theme park shows, it is challenging to fit a lot of subtext into such a short period of time. Conversely, with a full musical, you need to keep the audience engaged for the entirety of the production.
Do you have any role in musical theatre/straight theatre that you are dying to play?Anything in Hamilton.
What is your favourite moment in Wicked?
It is not really one moment, but I just love all the parallels that emerge between Wicked and the Wizard of Oz. The writing is so clever!
What do you think it is about Wicked that makes you want to return to the piece after playing Elphaba at Univeral Studios, Japan and what did you learn playing her?
Wicked was my dream show at university and I would have jumped at the chance to be in it, in any capacity – that has not changed! The version I did at Universal Studios Japan was a shortened version of the full musical and it was sung bilingually, with all of the dialogue in Japanese. For these reasons, I can’t even begin to list how much I learnt from that contract and I will be forever grateful to Universal Studios Japan for taking a chance on a fresh university graduate!
Congratulations on playing Francisca in West Side Story for The Production Company, what do you look for in a role?
I felt so lucky to be cast in West Side Story because, in my opinion, it is the epitome of musical theatre. The compositions are timeless, the choreography is fantastic and it is such an iconic story. It truly demonstrates the multi-faceted talents that are required by performers in this industry. I would aspire to perform in any role that inspires me, like West Side Story and many other musicals do.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
This changes on any given day, but off the top of my head – Cynthia Erivo, Neil Patrick Harris and Sara Bareilles.
Who or what inspires you?
My family and friends.
What do you hope audiences take away from your version of Wicked and in particular your personification of Nessarose?
We are doing Wicked like it has never been done before. Our director, Tim Hill, has a beautiful way of bringing out a unique version of these well known characters and that is what Wicked is really about – seeing a different side to what is already known.
I am hoping the audience can find an empathy with my portrayal of Nessarose.
Fame Reporter Word Play
Go-to Karaoke song
Surprisingly – I am a rare participant!
Any secret talents
I speak Thai
Dressing Room necessity
Absinthe – the character I played when I worked at Dracula’s!
Favourite Wicked Song
No Good Deed
Place you want to travel to
Any crazy or memorable fan experiences when you were Belle at HK Disneyland
There were a few “Make a Wish” children who came to watch our show and that impacted me in ways I’ll never forget.
How much time do you have?
TV Show Binge
The Big Bang Theory
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Thank-you Antonia for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for Wicked the Musical at HOTA!
Don’t miss seeing Antonia roll into Nessarose’s ruby slippers in the thrillifying Wicked the musical at HOTA on the Gold Coast from 25 June – 6 July.
Get your tickets here
All photos – Supplied