International Women’s Day is here and we’ve been listening to loads of songs performed by musical theatre’s most beloved female characters. In no order, here are ten of the most empowering and exciting female roles in musicals.
Anything Goes is sailed its way through the UK on tour rectenly with Kerry Ellis at the helm as club singer Reno Sweeney. There are few female characters in musical theatre who put triple threat skills to the test quite like Reno. She dances, she sings out the big numbers and she’s experiencing unrequited love in this hilarious classic musical.
Kooky, spooky Wednesday is the perfect role for performers who dream of playing a true icon. Pulled from the iconic Addams Family comic strips and transformed into a star of both the small and silver screens, Wednesday finally made it to the stage in 2009 and she’s been thrilling audiences ever since.
3. The Queens from Six
This one might be cheating but there's no way we could pick just one of the Queens from Six! Singing their way into theatre royalty, this band of former Queens of England are the perfect International Women's Day icons.
Six is currently running at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End. Recommended viewing age 10+
Don’t worry sopranos, we’re not leaving you out! The role of Christine is one of the longest-running and most desired roles in the West End and with good reason. Her songs are tricky and when she’s not trapped in an underground lair, she’s proving her worth as the new star of the Paris Opera House. That’s no mean feat.
The Phantom of the Opera is currently running at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End. Recommended viewing age 8+
Belle is the first Disney princess on this list but won’t be the last. Her intelligence and kindness make her someone worth admiring beyond just her looks (something certain members of her village don’t seem to realise). Her desire for knowledge and adventure is only rivalled by her loyalty to her family and accepting nature.
Here’s another Disney star to join the pack. Nala is the voice of reason in The Lion King. She sees that the animal kingdom she calls home is suffering under Scar’s leadership and sets out to give Simba the confidence he needs to resume his rightful place as their king. In fact, without Nala, it doesn’t seem as though Simba would have even become a Lion King in the first place so thank you Nala!
The Lion King is currently running at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End. Recommended viewing age 6+
7. Elphaba from Wicked
Elphaba is a devoted sister to Nessarose but she’s excluded by her classmates just because of her green skin. That is until popular and spoilt Glinda sees the good side of the future Wicked Witch of the West. Through her story’s twists and turns, we see Elphaba fight for what’s right with a little bit of magical help. Her iconic solos, strong personality and beautiful friendship with Glinda has made Elphaba and her story staples of the West End.
Wicked is currently running at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in the West End. Recommended viewing age 7+
8. Elsa from Frozen
This show is all about sisterhood so of course it had to make the list. Everyone knows the story of Elsa’s icy predicament by now but it’s the journey she takes to start seeing this as a blessing rather than a curse that made movie magic. This story might be called Frozen but it’s a heart-warming tale through and through. The 2013 film had kids everywhere singing Let It Go so it was inevitable that the film was going to head to the stage, and we couldn’t be more excited that it’s now landed in the West End.
Frozen is currently running at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the West End. Recommended viewing age 6+
9. Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray
There are two things you can’t stop, one is the beat and the other is our love for Hairspray. Tracy Turnblad loves to dance and pursues her dream of performing on the Corny Collins Show even if those around doubt her abilities just because she doesn’t look like the other dancers on the show. Hairspray is a bubbly celebration of difference and acceptance with Tracy in the spotlight.
10. Matilda from Matilda
This cheeky heroine shows that being little doesn’t mean you can’t be mighty. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this show tells the story of Matilda, a bookworm who has never truly felt at home with her telly-obsessed family. Things get worst for Matilda when she starts school and encounters formidable headteacher, Miss Trunchbull. It’s Matilda’s super brain, new friends (including the lovely Miss Honey) and little bit of telekinesis that allow the kids to win the day.
Matilda is currently running at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End. Recommended viewing age 6+
It’s no wonder that many of these iconic female theatre characters are dream roles for many of our students. We hope you enjoy whatever plans you have this International Women’s Day.