INTERVIEW: Carrie Hope Fletcher on ‘The Addams Family’ in Cornwall, Overcoming Criticism and Multi-tasking

Interview by Emma Pocock


Carrie Hope Fletcher is perhaps best known for her role as Eponine in West End’s Les
Miserables, her YouTube channel ItsWayPastMyBedtime and her books All I Know Now
and On The Other Side. She’s currently starring as Wednesday Addams in the U.K. &
Ireland tour of Broadway’s hit musical The Addams Family, which features an original
score by Tony Award nominated Andrew Lippa and is set to head to Truro’s Hall For
Cornwall next week!

With book three (All That She Can See) due next month, I spoke to Carrie more about her
role in the musical, what it’s like to work in theatre, how to balance multiple projects and
overcoming criticism and having a voice on the internet.

Carrie’s enthusiasm and smiles are bright enough to shine through phone, and it’s not hard
to see why she does so well on stage and as a YouTuber and author. She’s charismatic
and charming, but also shows that these qualities go hand in hand with huge amounts of
passion and hard work. No wonder younger members of her audience (aptly named
‘Hopefuls’) look up to her as their honorary big sister!

Photo: The Addams Family, by Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, in
association with the Festival Theatre Edinburgh and presented through special
arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide

It’s exciting to have such a great production coming to Cornwall and I can’t wait to
see it. Any plans yet for when you come down to Truro?

No plans yet, but there’s about twelve of us all staying in a big cottage down there, so I
think there’s going to be a lot of cooking going on. Dickon who plays Lurch is planning to
cook for us all!

A lot of people in the U.K. are more familiar with the films than the musical, so what
drew you to The Addams Family?

I was a big fan of the films when I watched them as a child. They’re amazing films and
I’ve always loved Wednesday – Christina Ricci’s Wednesday is just incredible. When I
heard that there was a musical I just thought, “This is something I definitely need to be a
part of”. Especially when I heard the song ‘Pulled’, which I got to sing for a concert with
Andrew Lippa himself in 2014 – it was something I definitely knew I wanted to be a part of
if it ever arrived in the UK.

The characters are definitely distinct, and playing Wednesday is obviously a pretty
big and unique role. Have you found any similarities between grown-up Wednesday
and other characters you’re familiar with?

Grown-up Wednesday is a very intense human being, and I definitely remember being like
that when I was a teenager. I say that, but I’m still like it now – even more so than when I
was a teenager! [laughs]

I’ve definitely found similarities between Eponine and Wednesday. I was asked on Twitter
a while ago who out of the characters I’ve played would be friends, and I would definitely
say it would be Eponine and Wednesday. They’re both very temperamental and feisty.

Has playing Wednesday offered you anything that you didn’t expect?

She’s a very challenging part to play, mainly because it’s a very big thing – it’s the biggest
thing I’ve ever had to do. Singing ‘Pulled’ in a corset [laughs] – a corset in heels – is
something I’ve never experienced before. Singing it in my own clothes was pretty
challenging in itself, but then they put me in a corset and heels and gave me a crossbow

It was a little more challenging than I expected.

There are a couple of cast members you already knew from your time on ‘Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang’, but for people just entering the industry I can imagine it’d be
daunting to enter a new company, especially if there are people they recognise and
admire in the cast. How do you bond on a tour and get to know your costars and
crew?

In all honesty it takes about half an hour for everyone to be at ease with each other!
There’s a certain sort of vibe with theatre folk, everyone just sort of gets on with it. As
soon as you arrive you’re sort of forced to do things you’d never do on a normal first day
at work. On the third day of rehearsals, myself and the guy playing Lucus [Oliver Ormson]
had to kiss each other before we’d even hugged! You don’t really have much of a choice
but to just get on with it. It makes it less awkward!

There’s a lot of traveling involved in being in a touring company – what are the pros
and cons of being on tour as oppose to a single-theatre production?

Well firstly, there’s no room for bad feelings because everybody knows they’ve got to go
home with each other after the show. I essentially have a ‘tour husband’ on this show –
because Scott [Paige] and I were in Chitty together we booked all of our digs together!
Also, every time you move show you get a fresh vibe from each theatre because there’s a
completely different backstage area and new entrances and exits onstage. Sometimes in
the smaller theatres the set has even been changed. You’re always kept on your toes,
which keeps it fresh.

Obviously theatre for you is a full-time commitment, but you’ve also written multiple
books and kept your YouTube channel in top shape. What advice would you give to
people looking to pursue creative projects whilst also working in a full time job?

Don’t do it! [laughs] No I’m kidding. It just means sacrificing things like sleep and seeing
friends and- no, again, I’m kidding.

I just get bored very quickly, so the time that I would usually spend playing Flappy Bird or
staring into the distance sipping coffee, I end up making a video or writing. I just get bits
and pieces done where I can. It’s time-consuming because you end up spending all of
your time doing bits and pieces, but ultimately it’s so worth it because you end up with
something like a book or a video to share with people.

I think I do need to chill out a bit [laughs], because I do end up burning myself out quite
quickly. I recommend not taking it to the extreme that I end up taking it, but it’s just time
management, I guess! It’s all about spending your time as wisely as possible.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Anywhere and everywhere! Where I’m constantly travelling I’ll hear different bits of
conversations on the back seat of a bus or whilst getting on trains and stuff. I meet so
many interesting people in the job that I have. Every time you move shows you meet a
new group of people – I’m constantly being inspired by the people around me and all the
situations that I end up in with the job that I have.

You come across with such composure but at the same time your passion really
shines through. I imagine acting onstage and making videos probably help a lot but
that doesn’t really give you enough credit! What advice would you give to people
struggling with self-confidence and having a voice in an age where being so
connected on the internet can make it seem like criticism is around every corner?

A lot of it is fake-it-until-you-make-it. I come across a lot more confident than I am. When
I’m in videos it’s literally just me and a camera. There’s no one else in that room so it’s
very easy for me just to be me when there’s no one there to judge, which means I come
across more confident than I would on stage as myself. A lot of it is also down to the
magic of video editing [laughs], but I’ve had a lot of practice over the years being an actor
and making videos.

I’ve definitely experienced judgement, and people criticising 10% of my personality that
they end up seeing. I’ve been lucky in a sense that I’ve been exposed to it from the age of
sixteen, so I’ve had a lot of practice building ways to deal with it. Obviously when you’re
very new to it or at a young age, it’s absolutely terrifying.

You’ve got to remember that they are only judging 10% of who you are. I’d probably even
say less than that, because how much of yourself can you actually share online?

Ultimately, what does it matter what a stranger thinks of you? It’s the people that you care
about whose opinions matter. If someone calls me fat as an insult online, I’m not going to
care as much as if one of my best mates from the theatre came up and insulted me!

Your YouTube videos now give a lot more insight into your everyday life [Carrie is
currently releasing ‘Watch Me Wednesday’ backstage videos on her channel] – what
made you change direction? Has it helped with staying active in creating content?

The change was kind of an accident! Being on tour you only get certain times of day to
film or write, so the vlogs kind of had to turn into something else, otherwise I’d never get
the time to sit down and just have a chat, which is very much what my channel was
founded on. I have a lot more fun doing the on-the-go backstage things because I get to
show everyone what I’m really passionate about. There’s a huge portion of my audience
who have found me through theatre and are passionate about it themselves.

On my analytics page I sometimes get viewers popping up from places like Papua New
Guinea, which is crazy. People from that far away are unlikely to ever get to come watch a
show, but it’s great know that we can still have that connection over something that we’re
both very passionate about.


Carrie finishes off by saying how excited she is to see where The Addams Family ends up,
hoping that it will perhaps transfer into the West End and saying that they all have their
fingers crossed. She praises the talent and enthusiasm of the cast and crew, saying how
proud they are of the characters they’ve created, and commenting, “I’ve never seen a
cast so in love with a show before, it’s so rare to see that – especially 7 or 8 weeks into a
tour”.

Thanking Carrie again for her time, I let her go about preparing for her performance that
day. The Addams Family also stars Samantha Womack (Eastenders) as Morticia Addams,
Les Dennis (Coronation Street) as Uncle Fester and Cameron Blakely (Oliver!) as Gomez
Addams joined by an amazingly talented cast and crew. See them in Truro’s Hall For
Cornwall from just £18 between June 20th – June 24th by checking the theatre’s official
website here, and read more about the production by clicking here.

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