We were lucky enough to catch up with the extremely talented Heidi Enchelmaier and chat all things green in the lead up to opening night of Ipswich Musical Theatre Company’s production of Wicked.
When did you first develop an interest in theatre?
Rumour has it, according to my parents, that I was obsessed with Into The Woods as a toddler. My parents recorded a VHS of the 1980s Broadway production of it because it aired in Australia. Apparently, from the ages of two to four, when my Mum would ask what I wanted to watch it would be Into The Woods. Then, when I was in high school, I did a school musical called “Dream On” and it was a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I was a fairy. All I had to do was go on stage and lay down; I didn’t have any lines or anything. I remember after it closed, I like, cried for three days, because I missed being on stage so much, so that’s probably where it really started.
Do you remember the first time you saw Wicked?
My high school choir conductor introduced me to the show. She gave me the song book and I fell in love. My Mum and I went to Melbourne to see the original Australian production of Wicked and I saw one of Jemma Rix’s first performances because she was the understudy back then. And when Defying Gravity happened, I just cried and lost it.
What was your reaction when you found out you would be playing Elphaba?
I was at work, actually. I had a missed call from our director, Robbie Parkin, asking me to call him back. So I called him back and he said something like, “I hope green is your favourite colour” and I was just jumping and screaming everywhere.
What is your favourite number in Wicked?
I think it’s ‘The Wizard and I’ because you run out and it’s all hopeful and funny. It’s just so enjoyable. When I sing it I just feel like Elphaba and I feel ready.
What is it like being ‘greenified’?
It’s so much fun. Carla Milne, who is my makeup artist, is a genius. We get along like a house on fire. She’s got it down to a fine art so it’s 20 minutes on for the first act and then 20 minutes updating it for the second act, and then we both use makeup wipes for about twenty minutes or until it’s off enough for me to have a shower. It’s harder to get off than it is to get on. It doesn’t feel like makeup, it just feels like my skin, and I feel so pretty when I’m green. I feel really beautiful. The problem is once I’m green, I can’t really wash my hands, so I have to be really careful about going to the bathroom [laughs] and also about touching people or things. You can pretty much see where my hands have been.
What do you believe audiences will take from this production?
Wicked celebrates diversity and that people are capable of things that you wouldn’t expect them to be capable of. When I think about it, I feel like the amateur theatre productions of Wicked are Elphaba. Regardless of the fact that things are slightly different and there isn’t the same budget that the professional production has, it is still capable of creating something extraordinary.
Wicked plays at the Ipswich Civi Centre from the 9th of September. To book tickets, head to www.ipswichmusicaltheatrecompany.com.au