South Hill Park’s July Newsletter

July Newsletter Jack and the Beanstalk cast reveal We are very excited to announce that Michael Ayiotis and Paul Toulson will return to our pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, this Christmas. Michael has performed with us in many previous shows including Madagascar...

Director for Kinky Boots 2023

Director for Kinky Boots 2023 South Hill Park is looking for an experienced director of musical theatre to help stage its Easter 2023 musical Kinky Boots and confidently lead a large, professional creative and technical team through the production process. With a...

South Hill Park’s June Newsletter

June Newsletter Simon Evans on sale soon Simon Evans is coming to South Hill Park on Sat 29 Oct with his show The Work of the Devil. Simon Evans’ last show, Genius 2.0 provided a hilarious analysis of the departure of any visible sign of intelligence from modern life....

South Hill Park’s May Newsletter

May Newsletter The Festival of Food and Music celebrates the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Our popular Festival of Food and Music is back this summer, running from Fri 3 – Sun 5 June. This year we celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with live music from every decade of...

South Hill Park’s April Newsletter

April Newsletter Shrek The Musical has begun The wait is finally over and our Easter production Shrek The Musical started this week. The entire team have been working endlessly over the last few months to bring such a fantastic production to all audiences and it is...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Hay Fever by Noël Coward

Studio Theatre Company Hay Fever auditions After the success of Rope in June 2021 the Studio Theatre Company returns to the Wilde Theatre stage for a limited run of this hilarious & absolutely classic Noël Coward play, Hay Fever. Auditions are on Tue 10 & Wed...

Visit from photography students at South Hill Park

Visit from photography students at South Hill Park  Last month South Hill Park had the pleasure of working with photography students from Bracknell and Wokingham College to create new and exciting content for our Courses and Workshops. This was a great opportunity for...

Recycling Incentive Scheme Offers

South Hill Park's Recycling Incentive Scheme Offers We are delighted to support Bracknell Forest Recycling Incentive Scheme by offering reduced pricing using your points. Cinema ticket offer - Recycling Incentive Scheme members receive South Hill Park members price on...

Interview with Blackeyed Theatre’s Adrian McDougall on Frankenstein

Associate Theatre Company Blackeyed Theatre bring a revival of their 'masterfully constructed' (The Stage) production of Frankenstein to the Wilde Theatre from Thu 27 - Sat 29 Jan. We had a chat with  Artistic Director Adrian McDougall to find out more about this...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

Directed by Sophie Earle Come and audition for the Studio Theatre Company's production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Tue 15 & Wed 16 Feb from 6.30pm. Call backs are on Thu 17 Feb. Auditions will be in individual time slots. Please contact...



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Interview with Poppy Ridell, playing Sharpay Evans in High School Musical

March 13, 2019

Poppy Ridell brings girl power to South Hill Park’s Easter Production of Disney’s High School Musical as the theatre diva, Sharpay Evans. 

South Hill Park’s hugely popular Easter production is back and dancing on the tables, with Disney’s smash-hit show High School Musical showing at the Wilde Theatre (Wed 17 – Mon 22 April). We chat with Poppy Ridell (19) who plays the infamous, theatre-diva Sharpay Evans in Disney’s High School Musical.

Poppy has grown up in Bracknell and has been taking part in local theatre productions since the age of 9. She is currently training on a Level 3 Extended Diploma at Artemis College and is excited to be taking on her first leading role on South Hill Park’s Wilde Theatre Stage. Poppy’s theatre credits include, Jerusalem, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (2017), A Madagascar The Musical (2018) and Animalphabet UK Tour (2018), winner of independent best children’s show award and finalist of best children’s show at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018.

What made you want to audition for South Hill Park’s production of High School Musical?


I was a huge fan of the movie as a kid, it was like the ‘Grease’ of the noughties! I loved the soundtrack but particularly loved the dances, you’d find me and my friends recreating the dances on the playground at school. So to have the opportunity to audition for the musical on stage ten years later was a no-brainer for me, I’m living my childhood dream by taking part in this show! I had so much fun during Madagascar A Musical Adventure (2018) last year as a Lioness that it made me want to audition for the Easter show again no matter what it was!

I love the fact that the majority of people performing at South Hill Park are doing it because they love it so much, there is a sense of home I now feel here, as cheesy as it sounds!

What is your character Sharpay like?

Sharpay is definitely a dreamer and she’s worked so hard to get where she wants to be but she doesn’t always go about it the right way. She can be a bit of a diva and just loves to be the centre of attention but this is only due to her passion for the theatre and performing. She is a strong and self-driven young female who strives to be the best she can be, and although she is far from perfect, I think everyone should channel their inner Sharpay every once in a while.

How do you feel about taking on your first leading role?

I’m thrilled to be in my first leading role here at South Hill Park. There was of course, the initial nervousness about taking on the iconic Sharpay, but now rehearsals have started I couldn’t be happier or more excited about audiences coming to watch the production.

Do have a scene or line?

My favourite scene is definitely in Bop To The Top, as Ryan (Keir Buist) and I get to be so dramatic in the audition line which we find so much fun. I also love getting to shout “Everybody Quiet!” In Stick To The Status Quo as that has always been the line I think of when someone mentions Sharpay.


Have you had to overcome any obstacles during this production?

I have had to sing higher than I am used to as there are a lot of intricate two-part harmonies. However, the creative team and the musical director (Tim Cumper) give all the cast support, and tips and tricks to help us achieve the demanding elements of the show which is great. The choreography and movement in the production is also extremely fast-paced which takes a lot of time and effort to perfect, our choreographer (Charlotte Steele, The Voice 2019) has a great eye for large scale dance numbers and the hard work pays off in the finished result.

What kinds of roles do you want to take on in the future?

After being part of the UK Tour of Animalphabet and Madagascar A Musical Adventure, I think I’d like to play an animal again because I love the physicality when you play one and I enjoy the transformation with the makeup. I’m not sure what my plans are for the future but I enjoyed touring and would definitely like to continue to travel and for now just enjoy being young for a while.

What can audiences expect from this production?


Audiences can certainly expect a high-energy, fun and exciting production. We really are going to take what happens in the iconic movie and throw it on stage with all of the energy we can give. It’s ultimately a feel-good production in time for the Easter holidays so there’s a something for all ages to enjoy in this show. We are having the best time creating it so hope to share it with as many people as possible.




Treat your family to Disney’s High School Musical this Easter at South Hill Park’s Wilde Theatre Wed 17 – Mon 22 April 2019. Click here to book your tickets or call the Box Office 01344 484123.


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