Leading West End Diva and Olivier Award-winner, Ruthie Henshall is currently starring in Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London. As the show approaches its tenth birthday, a monumental achievement in West End Theatre history, Ruthie took time out to speak to SuperBreak’s head of Theatre and Events, David Thomas, about what it is like to be performing in what many people regard as the greatest British Musical of all time.
DT: In Billy Elliot you play Mrs Wilkinson, the ballet teacher who helps, inspires, and even bullies Billy towards achieving his dream. With all the fabulous roles that you have played, where does Mrs Wilkinson stand as a highlight of your career?
RH: It really is a wonderful role. It’s up there with Roxy Hart in Chicago and Polly in Crazy For You. That’s why I extended my contract – I just love it.
DT: What is your favourite number in the show? For you personally? What brings you out in goose pimples?
RH: There’s a number at the end of the show, where Billy is leaving, and the miners are disappearing down into ground. It’s called “Once We Were Kings.” It’s so powerful. Really moving. And Billy’s number “Electricity”… I just have to watch that number EVERY show.
DT: SuperBreak’s clients are coming to London to see Billy Elliot from all around the UK. The show is two-and-a-half-hours. They will be in London for two or three days. What do you recommend that they see and do during their 48 or 72 hours?
RH: Definitely the Victoria and Albert Museum. And Regent’s Park, that’s really really beautiful.
DT: How about bars and restaurants?
RH: I would go to the South Bank. There are so many great places there.
DT: If you yourself were taking a short break, anywhere in the UK, where would you go?
RH: Scotland. I would go to Scotland. Or maybe Cornwall. Scotland or Cornwall.
DT: And for a European break?
RH: Provence. I’d love to go there.
DT: Arsenal or Chelsea?
RH: Well… I prefer rugby to football. And I’m a huge fan of baseball.
DT: Eastenders or Cornonation Street?
RH: I used to watch Eastenders, years ago, but I haven’t seen it in a long time.
DT: X Factor or Strictly?
DT: Thank you for giving us your time today, and thank you from all our SuperBreak clients, from all around the UK, who’ve had the time of their lives at Billy Elliot The Musical.