RUTHIE HENSHALL

 

Ruthie Henshall

Ruthie Henshall trained at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, and soon after she left in 1986 landed a role in a touring production of A Chorus Line playing Maggie. This was swiftly followed by her West End debut at the New London Theatre in Cats, where she appeared in a variety of roles including Jemima, Demeter, Griddlebone and Grizabella.

At the age of 21 Ruthie moved into Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane understudying Claire Moore and eventually taking over the part of Ellen. Following this she created the role of Aphra in the ill-fated Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre and spent the following summer at  Chichester Festival Theatre performing in Shakespeare, Moliere and the musical Valentine’s Day.

Ruthie played Fantine in Les Miserablesat London’s Palace Theatre, and reprised the role as part of the ‘Dream Cast’ at the 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1995.

She went on to play Polly in the original London cast of Crazy for You in 1993 when she was nominated for her first Olivier. Her second nomination followed in 1994 when she won the award for ‘Best Actress in a Musical’ for her portrayal of Amalia Balash in She Loves Me at the Savoy Theatre. Ruthie recreated the role of Polly in Crazy For You in Canada where she spent three months starring opposite Mickey Rooney.

She returned to the West End in 1996 to star as Nancy in Sam Mendes’ revival of Lionel Bart’s Oliver!

After a further season in Chichester playing Polly in Divorce Me, Darling, Ruthie went on to star as Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre. She was nominated for her third Olivier and won the ‘Theatregoers’ Award for the Most Popular Musical Actress in The Last 21 Years’.

Ruthie headed to America in 1998 to establish a career on Broadway and was offered a leading role in Ziegfeld Follies of 1936.  She also starred as Velma Kelly in the Broadway production of Chicago and later starred in Miss Saigon and Sondheim’s  Putting It Together

After three years in America Ruthie returned to the West End stage in 2001 to star as Peggy Sue in Peggy Sue Got Married, gaining her a fourth Olivier nomination. In December 2001 Ruthie joined The Vagina Monologues at the Arts Theatre.

She returned as Velma to the London production of Chicago in 2003, and followed this with the UK tour of Fosse. She was also cast in the title role in a new musical entitled Marguerite which was written by Michel Legrand, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. The show opened on 7th May at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, but closed early on 13th September. Her next West End Role was as Marian Halcombe in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White at the Palace Theatre.

In 2004 Ruthie made her feature film debut in Ahrens and Menken’s A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer and Jane Krakowski. In 2005/6 she filmed Celebrate Oliver! and the Sound of Musicals series for the BBC. Other television credits include Hey, Mr Producer!, Law and Order and Mysteries of 71st Street for CBS.

In 2006, Ruthie returned to the New York stage, playing Emma in David Ives’s two-hander The Other Woman and in 2007 starred in Stairway to Paradise at City Centre.

Ruthie has done two UK concert tours, and  has also toured the USA. In 2004 she made her Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall and other  concert appearances include Proms in the Park, Showtime at the Stadium, the Richard Rodgers Centenary Gala at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Music from the Movies with Lesley Garrett, and Bryn Terfel’s Faenol Festival, all televised by the BBC.

Ruthie performed two evening concerts with Kim Criswell entitled From Broadway to Hollywood at London's Cadogan Hall in the summer of 2009

Most recently Ruthie returned to the role of Roxie in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre and went on to reprise the role at the Ambassadors Theatre on Broadway. Her move proved so popular with New York theatregoers that she extended her run there.

She did a concert tour entitled Sounds of Hollywood in October and November last year and has most recently been seen in the West End playing Elvira in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.

She has just finished a tour of her one woman show An Intimate Evening with Ruthie Henshall and in currently appearing Billy Elliott the Musical playing Billy's music teacher Mrs Wilkinson.