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Edward Grey Talks All Things 'Wicked'

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Actor Edward Grey is playing the munchkin Boq in ‘Wicked’, the popular musical that tells the story of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ from the perspective of the so-called Wicked Witch. The show’s residence in Perth will be a homecoming of sorts for Grey, who trained in Musical Theatre at WAAPA.

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“I haven’t been to Perth since WAAPA, so I’m really excited about coming back, and it’ll be a great way to finish the tour.”

When we spoke over telephone, Grey was enjoying the Brisbane sun as part of the show’s national tour. “I’m sitting on my back veranda right now.” he said. “We’re going in the sun, catching the ferries on the river. It’s really beautiful up here.”

As part of the cast of ‘Wicked’, Grey has gone to a number of interesting locations. One that was particularly memorable was Manila in the Philippines. “It was a real eye opener for me. The people were beautiful. Manila’s a crazy city, but I mean the audiences were fantastic there. They were the most amazing fans ever. Manila itself is one of those cities that you’ve got to see it to believe it. There’s so many people in such a small place.”

 

While a lot of theatre workers find it tough to tour with the same people for months on end, Grey said he loves it. “It’s one of the best parts of the job, touring. There’s ups and downs in theatre. You get homesick sometimes or whatever but it’s pretty great.”

“We had Reg Livermore in the show, in Melbourne and Sydney, I just used to love watching him from the side of the stage all the time. Just trying to be like ‘How did he do it?’ you know? You get such a privilege, as a young actor, to watch these great people over and over and it’s fresh every time.”

When you’re performing eight shows a week, keeping your performance fresh is no mean feat. Luckily, Grey said the show is so fun he tends to forget he’s performed it dozens of times before. “It’s crazy with these musicals, you know. Sometimes getting to work, you’re like ‘Oh, that’s right, got to do two shows today.’ But then once it starts it kind of has an energy of its own and it just takes off and there’s no stopping it, which is really awesome.”

Grey’s character, Boq, goes through a number of tribulations throughout the show. “He does have a rough trot as with many characters in the show. I mean, there’s a beautiful message at the end of the show, it’s not that, but I guess you have to make sure you’re doing the right thing in that moment without predicting what’s going to happen. Trying to listen to everyone else onstage and tell that story. It’s all about the storytelling.”

Sophie Joske

Image: Jeff Busby

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