Interview with Rachael Wooding
Arranged by the Mayflower Southampton I recently visited Oxford, where Wonderland was playing at the time. I grabbed a few minutes with Rachael Wooding (Alice) before she went on stage for that evening’s performance.
But first here’s Rachael’s impressive bio:
Rachael is originally from Harlington, Doncaster and trained at Doreen Bird College Of Performing Arts. She was a semi finalist on Britain’s Got Talent 2016 and her audition has been viewed on YouTube over 9 million times to date.
Rachael has worked extensively in the theatre, her credits include: Karol in ‘Another Night Before Christmas’ (Bridge House Theatre), Scaramouche in the closing cast of ‘We Will Rock You’ (Dominion
Theatre) Rita Fairclough & Ida Barlow in ‘Street of Dreams’
(Manchester Evening News Arena), Mary in ‘Jersey Boys’ (Prince Edward Theatre), Amanda in ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ (Hoxton Hall), the title role in ‘Evita’ (No 1 UK Tour), Cyndi in ‘Grimm – Hard Core Fairytales’ (Mammoth Music Workshop), Amber in the original west end cast of ‘Hairspray’ (Shaftesbury Theatre), Meatloaf in ‘We Will Rock You’ (Dominion Theatre), Annette in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (Apollo Theatre), AJ in ‘Loveshack’ (UK No.1 Tour), Miranda in ‘Return to the Forbidden Theatre’ (Lincoln Theatre Royal), Ariel in ‘Footloose’
(UK No. 1 Tour), Kristine in ‘A Chorus Line’ (Crucible, Sheffield), Serena in ‘Fame’ (Aldwych Theatre), Pearl in ‘Starlight Express’
(Germany), Demeter/Bombalurina/Rumpleteaser in ‘Cats’ (Hamburg), ‘Spirit of the Dance’ (USA Tour), ‘My Father’s Son’ (Crucible, Sheffield). Other Credits include: Shawna in Doctors, BBC. Mandy in ITV’s Coronation Street, Al Murray’s Happy Hour, The Royal Variety Performance, BBC Radio 2 – Friday Night is Music Night, Christmas In New York, Momentous Musicals, The Music Of Queen – A Rock and Symphonic Spectacular
– USA. Music of ABBA, Music of Queen, Musicals Rock – West end International. Rachael Wooding – With You.
Recording credits include: Coronation Street: The Musical, All Around The World (Kingsize Records/BMG), It’s Real (Dance street/ZYX Music), Richard Beadle – Debut Album and has recently recorded her own album With You.
What has been your favourite role to date?
I’m going to have to say Eva Peron in Evita, it’s such an incredible role. I did that for a year and every single day I learnt something. It’s so powerful, an amazing show, and brilliant musical. But I’d say my best job, my happiest was We Will Rock You. I did it in 2006 and then again 2013, playing Scaramouche in its closing cast. It was just the whole building, everyone wanted to be there it was just the happiest of times.
What’s your favourite number from Wonderland?
I think it’s “Finding Wonderland” right at the end of the show. Because it’s a great moment, she has her daughter, her new fella and she is happy. It’s a great score and amazing to sing. Catchy songs so great and fun to do.
What role have you yet to play but really want to?
Its got to be Elphaba from Wicked it’s not me per se but everyone just expects me to and I kind of feel I should just do it to get it out-of-the-way.
I’m interested to know why you decided to go on Britain’s Got Talent when you are already having such a great career?
If I hadn’t stopped working to have my daughter Amelia then I probably wouldn’t have done. I’d been asked to go on it a million times before and never wanted to or felt I needed to because I was always working.
Caroline – to me you were an established musical theatre star so I was surprised? I’ve always wanted a baby and so when I had Amelia, I felt the luckiest person alive. But there’s no manual that comes with a baby and no one tells you how hard it is. I threw myself into being the best mum I could be. After a year I remember thinking is this enough for me? I remember having that exact thought. I was happy but felt I could be even happier which would be best for Amelia.
Then I got a call saying they wanted me to do BGT again. But I’d have to be in London the next day to do it and I just said yes. I did it without thinking, it was just another job to me. Even getting to the semifinals that’s what it was to me. And I look back and I wouldn’t change it because this is what I love doing. Looking back that was the turning point for me and I’m a better mum for it. Why wouldn’t I go back to what I love? By me being happy in what I do I think that’s good for Amelia because she senses I’m happy.
Who would you l love to work with?
Because of my grandma and her love for her, probably Shirley Bassey. Not necessarily for me but I think I’d have a connection because of my grandma’s love for her. So yes I’d like to sing with her. I’m not really fan girly, there are many people, not necessarily famous but who I think are really talented and I think to myself I’d like to work with you.
Basically the person I would love to meet and absolutely adore is Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I’d get really over excited and squeal. Who knows perhaps they’ll do a foo fighters musical and I’ll be like – pick me!
If you could go back in time when would you go back to?
I’d go back to the 1970’s. You know free love, flower power, before there were too many rules and restrictions. Being who they wanted to be. It probably wasn’t as liberal as we think but everyone seemed more accepting of who they are. And accepting of people being different or trying different things – I just think, you know, love who you want to love be happy that’s all that really matters.
If you could be a super hero who would you be and why?
I’d like to be able to fly but I’d like a really cool costume like Cat Women but a good Cat Women not a bad one. So yes I’d like to be able to fly, to transport myself somewhere fast but have my own hot costume. Actually no I want to blink and be somewhere else that’s what I want like the Star-ship Enterprise – but still with a very cool costume.
Who do you think is the most influential person in the world or your world today?
Do you know what, and she’ll probably say she isn’t, but my mum is the one who I always value what she says. She’s wonderful, soft, not pushy, really subtle but even though I may not always initially agree with what she says, I will always take something from it. So yes my mum.