She shot to fame on the biggest singing contest on TV but, just like her character in the smash hit musical Shrek the Musical, she always knew she was destined for great things.
Singer and performer Amelia Lily might only be 23 years old but she’s already had a career that would be the envy of many. Third place on the X-Factor 2011 and several pop songs later, Amelia has now set her sights on her big passion – musical theatre.
Joining an all-star cast on Shrek’s 2018 UK tour, Amelia plays feisty and fabulous (sometimes flatulent) Princess Fiona, a damsel not-so-in-distress who’s hoping for her fairytale ending.
Yes Mag’s Carly caught up with popstar-turned-princess Amelia to talk about the show and its much-loved characters.
Carly: Talking about your lead role as the iconic Princess Fiona in the hit musical Shrek, how have you found it so far?
Amelia: You know what? It’s been an absolute blast. It’s just an incredible show and, you’re right, it is an iconic role. Never in a million years did I think I’d be playing Fiona!
Do you know what? Every night when the curtain goes down I’ve got the biggest smile on my face. Having fun, I think that’s what it’s all about.
Carly: What do you think you have bought to the role of Fiona?
Amelia: I’m actually the youngest actress ever to play Fiona and I’ve definitely brought some youth to the role but a slight quirkiness too. I know it sounds hilarious, but I actually feel like I’m playing myself a lot of the time. I put my own stamp on the part, that’s for sure.
Carly: From the trailer Fiona looks like such a fun role, did you settle into character quickly?
Amelia: It was a bit of an odd experience coming in halfway through and having to rehearse without the cast!
Dropping into a show after they’d already been on tour for five months was a really big challenge but because I’m so familiar with Shrek and had my own ideas about Fiona and how I would play her, I slotted in well.
Carly: Did the transition to musical theatre from the X Factor come naturally to you?
Amelia: I always wanted to do musical theatre. I’d planned to go to stage school when I left school, then I ended up on X Factor and it gave me this huge platform. I’m so grateful for the opportunity it gave me.
I’ve not stopped working since, and that’s seven years ago now!
Carly: You shot to fame very young, almost overnight, on the X Factor. How did you handle it?
Amelia: The night I saw my audition clip on the television, my phone just broke with all the messages! It’s a funny way to get into the limelight but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It made me stronger as a person, because I got taken out and then put back in again – it was a rollercoaster. I learned a lot about my strengths and about how much pressure I could take.
Carly: Your voice is incredibly powerful. Who has inspired you?
Amelia: My two biggest inspirations to date are Pink and Katy Perry. I remember watching Pink’s music video for Just Like A Pill on MTV and thinking ‘I want to sound like her’ and that’s how it all started.
The first time I saw Katy Perry live was last Monday – I cried! I’m a hardcore fan and seeing her was one of the biggest things on my bucket list.
Carly: What’s your favourite song to perform in Shrek and why?
Amelia: My favourite number in the musical is ‘I Think I Got You Beat’. It’s basically where Shrek and Fiona figure out that they’re more similar than they thought. It’s got a great bass line and it’s really catchy. It’s hilarious, too!
The audience response to it across the tour has been incredible. Last night they were laughing, they were clapping. It’s so rewarding to get that reaction from the audience.
Carly: For anyone who hasn’t seen Shrek, why should they come and see the show?
Amelia: What’s so great about Shrek is that it’s suitable for any audience, no matter what age you are. You’ll laugh and smile, and leave with a big smile on your face. It’s an uplifting show as well, just come and see it because it just makes you feel great!
Catch Amelia and the cast of Shrek at Venue Cymru on Tuesday 21st August 2018. Tickets are on sale now from the Box Office on 01492 872 000