Cinderella opens next week at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth | Interview

Playing the lead in Cinderella at the New Theatre Royal will be something of a triumphant homecoming for Emily Day.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 1:22 pm
Emily Day, centre, as Cinderella with Lucy Andic as Prince Charming, second left, with their fellow leads in Cinderella at New Theatre Royal,  Portsmouth. Picture: Matthew Clarke
Emily Day, centre, as Cinderella with Lucy Andic as Prince Charming, second left, with their fellow leads in Cinderella at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Picture: Matthew Clarke

Born in Portsmouth, Emily grew up in Waterlooville and went to Padnell infant and junior schools, before going on to Oaklands Catholic School.

‘At Oaklands they really pushed my music and drama side of things, I used to sing in their school big band, I was quite active when I was younger.’

‘I did the school dance shows with South Downe Musical Society, and I also did a lot of stuff with The Groundlings – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, West Side Story, and then at Victory-Land Theatre School, I did Peter Pan with them as well. I've been all over the place!’

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Following her graduation from performing arts college she’d been working hard to build her profile.

‘Coming out of drama school, it's so hard to find your feet, and I feel like just before Covid I'd found myself an amazing agent, was getting some really good auditions, and then Covid happened… It's been hard.’But in recent months, things have picked up again and she’s on a bit of a roll. She’s landed the part of Dorothy in a touring production of The Wizard of Oz in February, and is also providing cover in a touring pop princess show – as well of course landing the lead here.

‘I am quite busy at the moment. I feel very lucky and very grateful that I am working.’

Emily currently lives in Coventry with her boyfriend who is studying medicine at Warwick University.

‘I did live in london for a bit, but I decided to to move away. Coventry is a lot cheaper! I made the decision just before Covid was on the scene and I'm so happy I did because otherwise I would have been stuck in London on my own – it would have been horrible.’

But she’s looking forward to being back on home turf for Christmas.

‘It's so nice to be back in my hometown and doing something professionally in the theatre here.

‘My whole family live around here still, so I don't need digs! With panto you can end up anywhere around the country and Christmas Day can be very hectic because you're driving back home to spend your one day off celebrating.

‘It's so nice that I'll be here for the whole of Christmas, I'm really looking forward to it.

‘I'm really excited to be back on that stage again.

‘I put a post up today on my Facebook about this, and a load of my friends said they can't wait to come and see me, which is really nice. And I think my family are relieved they don't have to travel to see me...’

Playing opposite Emily as Prince Charming is Lucy Andic – a traditional principal boy, which is something of a rarity these days.

‘I've never played principal before,’ says Lucy, I've done pantos before – I was princess Jasmine in Aladdin, and then the last panto I did before Covid was in Sleeping Beauty in Greenwich.’

Originally from Northampton, Lucy has lived in south east London since finishing dance school there.

And this will be her first time on stage in Portsmouth.

‘I think the only time I've been through Portsmouth was to get the ferry to the Isle of Wight once! But it's lovely to experience another city and be by the sea – where I'm from is landlocked.

‘I hadn't met any of the rest of the cast until the press launch. Sometimes the first time you meet everyone is on the first day of rehearsals and that's a busy day, getting scripts and straight into it, so it's been really nice to meet everyone and have a chat without all of that.

‘The theatre is beautiful, and it's quite rare to have a theatre like this that's been maintained without it going super-modern.’

Lucy was able to keep working as a dance teacher through lockdown thanks to ‘my saviour’ Zoom, but she also lost theatre work to the pandemic.

‘I was meant to do the UK premier of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella at the Hope Mill in Manchester last May/June, but that got pulled.

‘So when I got this it was amazing, because it's hard to even get into auditions for stuff now. Everyone's off the ships and off the tours, so everyone's available and competing.

‘I'm thrilled to be back in theatre, and to be on stage at Christmas is brilliant.’

Cinderella is at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth from December 15-31. Go to

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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