Rachel Tucker has gone from a talented contestant in the reality TV show I’d Do Anything, to one of the West End’s greatest actresses. Since leaving the BBC talent show in 2008 Rachel has secured top West End roles, released her debut album and is now facing her biggest challenge of all: motherhood!
I caught up with Rachel at the lovely St James Theatre to chat about her involvement in the new West End music collective, Tonic Fold, her debut album and to ask what is next for the star! In the video below you can watch my full interview with Rachel, where she reveals all about her life as a working mum and her thoughts on a Tucker vs Louise Dearman Elphaba showdown! You can also read our interview summary below to read her answers on a few crucial questions! Also, don’t forget to check out our signature Lightning Round Challenge to see how Rachel got on!
Rachel – You shot to fame as an I’d Do Anything finalist, since then you have played hotly coveted West End roles such as Meat and Scaramouche in We Will Rock You AND spent three years as the Green Witch on the Block: Elphaba in Wicked! What is next for you?
Well at the moment…motherhood! I am absoloutely loving it! My son is almost 1 year old and it has been the most incredible year and experience! So that is another string to my bow! I am loving it! I am also back out there auditioning. I released my album, The Reason, last year and I have been doing little gigs for that, including here at the lovely St James… I am doing little concerts. But I am definitely getting back on the horse again!
Back on the West End Wagon!
So you are doing bits and bobs, including helping out with Tonic Fold. Tell us a bit about your involvement with the project?
I met Shane Cullinan [founder of Tonic Fold] when I was in Wicked and he asked if I would sing one of his songs. I said well let me hear the song…and wow! Jaw to floor. I was floored by this song. I said I would absolutely love to do it. I was honoured to be asked! Shane is a fabulous writer.
Your Track is called “Stones.” Tell us a bit about it!
Stones! It has a really nice driving beat through it. I believe it is about Shane’s past relationship. It is a big belt song something that I am okay at [laughs.] It is a very feel good song and I think it is a stand out on the album.
So let’s talk about your album released in August last year. You’ve included your own songs and the show stopping number from Wicked, Defying Gravity. How did it feel recording such an onstage classic for your album?
Oh I loved it, it was brilliant! It is a wonderful song! I tried to do it as close to how I did it onstage as that is where I felt most empowered singing it. We waited to the end to record it, which we did almost in one take!
And did you have to green up to sing it?
Do you know what I did! Haha, no I didn’t! ha! There with my broom!I’d have loved it!
As you mentioned you are now a mother to your lovely, almost one year old boy. Has he got mummy’s singing voice?
He’s a screamer! Ha! I have a video of him at about 10 weeks old and I am singing along to a song for an audition and he just completely tried to outshine his mum! He’s got a high top C on him!
He’s got the best mum in the business to train him up!
He hears me a lot!
How are you juggling it all?
My Husband and I are both freelance so when he’s at home I can go out and do a bit of work and vice versa. I take him when I can and we have very great and helpful friends.
So moving back to Wicked…some people consider you to be the true Elphaba. Do you miss her?
I do miss her! Not only was it such a massive part of my life, but she is the ultimate female musical theatre character! Why you wouldn’t want to play her would be beyond me. I just fell in love with the show and her and, yeah, its just the ultimate role!
And are there any other roles you’d have your eye on the West End?
Well, unfortunately Chicago is closed, but I’d love to give Roxie Hart in Chicago. Also Calamity Jane…I’d love that! Any producers out there…!
Before you played Elphaba you and Lousie Dearman did a little Wicked skit! You both then went on to star in the show together. Do you still keep in touch with her?
Yes! Lou and I are still very good friends!
Any chance of you doing a Dearman and popping back in the show as a different character? Perhaps Garlinda-ing it up?
No! I think that chapter is done. I stayed for as long as I did… I made sure I had fulfilled and done what I had wanted to do with it.
I have a suggestion: A Tucker Dearman showdown! You both need to Green up fly and see who can belt Defying Gravity the loudest!
Tuckman! Ha oh noo! I haven’t sung it in a long time, she would win!
Well thanks for that! Before we move on to the Lightning Round I am going to let you channel your inner tchi etc! High five!
[Rachel and Rebecca high five]
An Interesting Fact About Rachel
Aside from being a West End star, Rachel is also a pub land lady! Rachel and her husband opened up a theatre pub called The Bridge House in Penge West and put on regular performance evenings. The next event at the theatre will be Gracie and the G-spots on Friday 14th Feb @8 Tic £12.50 early bird or £15 on the door. Gracie promises “A healthy dose of cheeky attitude!”
The Lightning Round
It is an Official Theatre tradition to grill the star we talk to in the form of “The Lightning Round.” Watch the video below to check out how Rachel did under the pressure of being bombarded with quick fire questions!
I had a lovely time with Rachel, she is honestly a true delight as well as a great talent! You can check out Rachel’s work on the Tonic Fold album which is out NOW! You can buy Rachel’s album, The Reason, on itunes or from www.racheltucker.co.uk. Rachel will also be performing at the St James Theatre on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of February.