Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Was Told That My YouTube Channel Was Cheating; with Her Online Army of 650k Fans, Carrie Hope Fletcher Broke into Musical Theatre in Her Own Way, She Tells Mark Bonington

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Was Told That My YouTube Channel Was Cheating; with Her Online Army of 650k Fans, Carrie Hope Fletcher Broke into Musical Theatre in Her Own Way, She Tells Mark Bonington

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Bonington

YOU walk into the audition room," says actress Carrie Hope Fletcher, "and suddenly there's 10 people who look like the version of you that goes to the gym."

In the ego-driven world of musical theatre, Harrow-born songbird Fletcher, 25, is a breath of fresh air, albeit an enigmatic one. While most young actors in musicals aspire to the "triple threat", Fletcher stands as something else entirely, she has a bestselling book (All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully) and a prolific YouTube following along with her list of acting credits. This ranges from classic shows such as Les Miserables and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, to new material such as The Addams Family and Vanara: the Musical.

On meeting her, it's easy to see why her fans have labelled her a "big sister". Open and honest behind her smile and spectacles, there is no hint of the diva tendencies and difficult behaviour which have dogged the careers of some of her forebears. This is a prima donna for the Hermione Granger generation.

"It happened by accident," she says when asked about her 650,000 YouTube subscribers. "Purely out of boredom if I'm honest. I'd seen Justin Bieber using YouTube as a platform to get himself noticed and I thought it could be a way to get my voice out there."

From a timid start singing covers, Fletcher began experimenting with video diaries, vlogging on the topics close to her heart: school, relationships, body image and feminism. "I just got to realise how much I enjoyed it and I loved the whole editing side, it made me feel like I was being very technological in a way I hadn't been before. "It was luck, really, that I stumbled into it at the right time. There was a gap in the market for someone who liked singing and musical theatre and did advicetype videos who was female. People liked that I was just very human."

A collaboration with the Department of Health cemented her with the "big sister" title, and it's one she carries proudly. But she emphasises that social media is there to give everyone a voice, even though industry reaction to her own digital presence has been mixed.

"A cast mate once told me having a YouTube channel was cheating" she recalls. "My resident director in Les Miserables simply couldn't wrap his head around the idea of having as many followers as a small country. They were very strict on vlogging at first -- you couldn't show props backstage -- but after they saw the audience engagement from things like Twitter takeovers they really opened up to it."

It's an aspect of modern life she wishes theatre would embrace more, describing her world as still being very bound up in tradition, but she's worked to break down barriers between the realms wherever she can.

Fletcher cites her family as the bedrock of her success. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.