Gina Beck

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Gina Beck
Born (1981-12-30) 30 December 1981 (age 32)
Origin High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Genres Musical Theatre
Occupation(s) Actress, singer, voice actress
Years active 2004–present
Website http://www.ginabeck.com/

Gina Beck (born 30 December 1981)[1] is an English actress and singer known primarily for playing major roles in leading West End theatre productions. She is best known for playing the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, both in the UK production and the US tour, and the role of Christine Daaé in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, for which she was nominated for a Theatre Fans Choice Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, 2010.[2]

Background[edit]

Beck was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, but moved to Hampshire with her parents at an early age. She attended local schools and was introduced to the stage through school and amateur groups. She passed her Grade 8 singing examination at the age of fifteen and gained experience in both solo and ensemble singing as a founder member of the Hampshire Children's Choir and subsequently, the Hampshire County Youth Choir.

In her teens, she had many acting and singing roles at Perins School and Peter Symonds College in Winchester[3] and was also engaged professionally to play leading roles in productions at Winchester College (Gianetta in L’élisir d’Amoré, 1999; Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, 2000 and Emily Tallentire in The Hired Man, 2001). Her first break into musical theatre occurred when she auditioned successfully at the age of 14 for the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) of Great Britain. She performed in their production of Warchild in various English cathedrals during 1997. The following year she played the leading role of Kate Hardcastle in The Kissing Dance, a new musical written for the NYMT by Charles Hart and Howard Goodall based on Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer.[4] The show was performed to great critical acclaim at the Brighton and Edinburgh Festivals, The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, and The Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden amongst other venues.[5][6] She reprised this role in the first professional production of The Kissing Dance in March 2011 at the Jermyn Street Theatre, off the West End.[7] Her last role with the NYMT was as Guinevere in their Arthurian legend show Pendragon.[8] Performances of this show included two tours to Japan.

Career[edit]

After A-level exams, Beck successfully auditioned for an acting degree at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London, from where she graduated with a BA in Acting in 2004. After graduation, she had a number of small cameo roles on TV (Doctors, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, among others) and commenced a long-standing relationship with Pearson Education doing both voice-over and video recordings for English Language teaching media.

She performed in opera and operetta during 2005 at Holland Park Opera (Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Donizetti's L'élisir d'Amoré) and the Buxton Opera House (Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore and The Sorcerer).

In 2006, Beck toured South Africa in The Merry Widow and in June of that year made her West End debut as Cosette in Les Misérables at Queen's Theatre. She performed the role in the 21st anniversary celebration concert of Les Misérables which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. After a year, she left the show to create the lead role of Rebecca Warshowsky for the world première of the new musical Imagine This at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth in July 2007.[9] At Christmas 2007 Beck appeared as Wendy Darling in the Rachel Kavanaugh production of Peter Pan, the Musical at the Birmingham Rep.[10]

Beck took over the principal role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre in September 2008.[11] She subsequently performed The Phantom duet with Ramin Karimloo at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th birthday concert in Hyde Park, London.[12] She has sung the duet "All I Ask of You" with co-star Simon Bailey on the Grand Staircase of the actual Opera Garnier in Paris (where Phantom is set) for CBS television[13] and the same song on the Alan Titchmarsh show on ITV1. On 3 October 2010 she appeared as part of the Alumni Ensemble in the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Les Misérables at London's O2 Arena and also appeared in the Les Misérables sequences in the 2010 Royal Variety Performance at The London Palladium. Later that year, Beck returned to The Phantom of the Opera as an emergency cover for Christine on 23 December, co-starring with John Owen-Jones. Beck also played Cosette as a voice role in the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production of Les Miserables.[14]

Recently, Beck has supported the music of the young musical theatre composer, Steven Luke Walker. She has taken part in several workshops of his compositions for the musical based on the novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and, together with many stars from the West End, has performed in and helped promote a concert of his songs.[15]

In June 2011, she made her debut in the leading role of Maria von Trapp in a new production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music at the 3,000 seat Plenary Hall Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[16] In September 2011 she played Letitia Hardy in Hannah Cowley's restoration comedy The Belle's Stratagem at Southwark Playhouse.[17][18] This was the first time in over 100 years that this play had been produced in London.

In December 2011, Beck took over the lead role of Glinda the Good Witch in the West End production of the musical Wicked, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.[19] On Monday 1 July 2013, it was announced that Savannah Stevenson will be taking over the role of Glinda from Monday 18 November 2013, ending Gina Beck's two year contract with the show.[20]

Beck has also appeared as an extra/solo singer (turning woman 3) in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables.[21]

On 26 November 2013, it was announced that Beck would be returning to the role of Glinda, this time in the United States, joining the cast of the First National Tour of Wicked, alongside Alison Luff as Elphaba. Beck began performances 16 December 2013 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, IL.[22] her return marked two firsts for Wicked: the first international transfer to join an American touring version, as well as the first international transfer to join an American production for an actress playing Glinda. On 14 July 2014, it was announced that Beck would be leaving the First National Tour on 27 July 2014.

Filmography[edit]

Films
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Maid TV movie
2010 Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary Female Worker 3 / Turning Woman 1
2012 Les Misérables Turning Woman 3
Television Series
Year Title Role Notes
2005 The Crust Lydia D. Hemmingway Episode: "Pizza Panther"
2008 Doctors Carrie Harkness Episode: "Heston C in Da House"

Discography[edit]

Year Song Album Label
2012 "Turning" Les Misérables: The Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition) Polydor Group
2013 "Once More" (with Steven Luke Walker) Once More - Single Eastern Star Music

References[edit]

External links[edit]