We chatted to Amy about starring in the world premiere of new British musical The Little Big Things at the @SohoPlace.
Hi Amy how does it feel to be returning to @sohoplace? I’m a huge fan of @sohoplace – when I found out there was going to be a new accessible theatre in the heart of the west end, I was desperate to work there…so when I got the call about Medea, I was buzzing. And to be back so soon with another show is a real treat! I had a ball doing Medea and learnt so much from the experience and the space. I’m intrigued and excited to see how the space feels doing The Little Big Things as it’s a very different to Medea…! That’s the joy of @sohoplace, it’s super versatile. I’m also very fond of everyone who works at the theatre – behind the scenes and front of house – so it’s been lovely to see all those familiar faces again! Oh, and I’m very fond of the rice pudding in the restaurant so it feels good to be back just for that…!
For those who don’t know could you explain a little bit more about what The little Big Things is about? The Little Big Things is about Henry Fraser, who at seventeen becomes paralysed from the shoulders down whilst on holiday in Portugal. We follow him and his family as they learn to accept and adapt to their new normal. It’s based on Henry Fraser’s book of the same name, so it’s based on a true story which gives it layers of authenticity and depth. It’s an uplifting, funny and moving musical that
explores family, acceptance, and growth. I’ve been in love with it since I first read the script and heard the songs back in 2021.
Had you been familiar or read with Henry Fraser’s memoir before being involved with this production? I knew of Henry and his artwork through Instagram but hadn’t read his books. When I got approached about the show, I immediately listened to the audiobook version of TLBT, which Henry reads himself, and found it incredibly moving and relatable. He writes with great honesty and clarity, which has been a gift whilst bringing his work to life.
What stood out for you about the story when you read it? Henry and I have very different experiences of disability, but there are so many universal aspects of his story. I think that’s why the book – and now hopefully the musical – resonates with people far and wide. There’s something in there for everyone. His relationship with his family was a standout for me. His parents and brothers jump off the page and to see them now jump onto the stage is really exciting.
Could you tell me more about your character Agnes? Agnes is a brutal but brilliant physio who comes into Henry’s life whilst he’s at Stoke Mandeville hospital. People question her methods but her no nonsense approach resonates with Henry and she pushes him to keep moving forward. She became disabled in her teens so can relate to Henry’s experience somewhat. She’s unorthodox and a little bit wild but knows what’s needed in every situation. I’m a little bit in love with her and her naughtiness! She’s based on a few characters from Henry’s book. Henry’s real-life physio was a woman called Ruth who did whatever was needed for Henry and her other clients. Henry speaks incredibly highly of her, so I always try to keep her at the front of my mind when playing Agnes. She’s a bit of a fairy godmother character, I suppose. A fairy godmother who is aware that magic wands don’t exist – but hard work does!
How have you found this experience of bringing The little Big Things to the stage? I’m loving every minute. It’s been the most rewarding experience – we’re all so invested in the story and making sure we tell it in the most beautiful, fun, responsible way. I’ve been involved with the show since the workshop stage and to see its evolution has been a real honour. New writing is a passion of mine and to see this team work so relentlessly to make this an innovative, exciting, and fresh musical has been a joy. It’s the loveliest team, full of people at the top of their game. I text my mate the other day and said “I’m just really happy right now!” and I think that’s because I’m so loving the experience of bringing this show to life. I can’t wait to share it with the world!
By Emma Clarendon
The Little Big Things continues to play at the @SohoPlace until the 25th November. To book tickets click here.