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The Inspirational Women of SW1: Alice Fearn

Alice Fearn, star of Wicked 

Wicked tells the untold story of the witches of Oz. What do you like about your character, Elphaba?

I think most people know in some respect the story of The Wizard of Oz, and you have this preconceived idea of who Elphaba is. I think this show throws all of those preconceptions out the window. I've always enjoyed telling that part of her story and proving that circumstances turned her evil as opposed to something that was always in her.

What do you think the story says about female friendships?

Women really fight for each other and they stand united together a lot of the time and I think that's what's shown in Wicked. What drives this friendship [between Elphaba and Glinda] is that they fall out, they fight, they disagree, yet through it all the core part of their friendship and their love for each other remains and I think that's a really strong message.

Which women do you look up to?

My mum has always been a massive inspiration for me. Growing up I always saw her working and trying really hard and that's an incredible lesson to teach a daughter.

alice fearn

Professionally speaking, I've worked alongside lots of people I respect and admire. I worked with Hannah Waddingham a number of years ago who was a massive idol to me and Melanie La Barrie, who I work with currently and who I worked with 10 years ago, is a massive influence for her work ethic and attitude.

What's the most important thing you've learned in your career?

We get a lot of rejections in our career and it might be for a number of reasons but what I've learned is to not let it take anything away from who you are. If you're going to be in this business you have to accept that the rejection ratio is going to be quite high and to let it be water off a duck's back. It's very rarely against you as a person.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

I would be lying if I said that getting the part of Elphaba wasn't a big achievement – it's such a massive role in every possible way. I know it sounds really silly saying this but I've always wanted my face on a poster and when they did the campaign early last year I just went: 'Oh my God!'. That's such a moment to get on a poster, something so iconic. That was a really big achievement for me.

If you could give a piece of advice to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?

Probably to go to dance class more!

Photo by Matt Crockett


Also, I think if I was going back there I'd say to believe that  [this kind of career] is possible and to go for it because if you don't you'll always regret it.

Where do you like to go in Victoria after a show?

Victoria is so much better than it was five years ago, there are so many more places to go now, there's almost one popping up every day! We tend to go to Greenwood after a show, they've got games upstairs and pool tables and things that you can play on. Then there's Bill's and Browns and I love the afternoon tea at Aster. There are almost too many places to pick from!