Leah Vassell plays Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Mary Seacole and Miss Ashley in Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, coming to Wales Millennium Centre from January 17 to 21, 2024.
Leah is from Rugby, Warwickshire and is based in London.
Tell us a bit about Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World?
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is an inspiring, girl-power musical celebrating amazing women who have changed history as we know it, including Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Jane Austen and many more!
Who do you play in the show?
I play Amelia Earhart, Mary Seacole, and Rosa Parks, and a few others!
Have you learned any fun facts about any of the inspiring women in the show?
So many, especially because a lot of these women were simply not taught when I was at school! I’d never learnt about Mary Seacole for example, only Florence Nightingale. My favourite fact about her was that she was more than qualified to help with the Crimean War, as her dad was a soldier and her mother was a healer. Another favourite fact is one about Gertrude Ederle – her coach, Jabez Wolffe, had attempted to swim the English channel 22 times and never made it, but she DID!
Did any of the characters in the show resonate with you?
I feel very connected to Rosa within the show. She has a very calm and peaceful temperament, but is so passionate with Jade when it comes to being proud of who you are.
How important do you think it is that people – particularly young girls and women – see these incredible heroines represented and their stories told on stage?
It is SO important! These women are literal proof that you can achieve your dreams, no matter your gender, race, heritage, sexuality, or disability.
Do you have any favourite musical heroines?
Anita in West Side Story is an absolute icon. I’m also a BIG fan of Angelica and Eliza Schuyler from Hamilton, and Fanny Brice from Funny Girl.
7. Who are some women who have inspired you in your life?
Where to I begin?! My mum, my nan (who is my BFF), my other best friend, (who is hilariously also called Leah), my late dance teacher Vicki-Jo, my agent Ellie, my ArtsEd singing teacher Ann – the list goes on! I also had a French teacher from high school called Mrs Grimes, who was an incredible French teacher, but also came and supported me in every local musical I did back in Rugby! To name a few!
What have you enjoyed most about working on the show?
Being inspired by all the women in the room. Female & non-binary rehearsal rooms rock my world.
Who should come and see the show?
Everyone! It is time for the lives of these fantastic women to be heard!
What do you hope audiences take away from Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World?
That it is never too late to change the world, follow your dreams, and live as your most authentic self – you are enough, and you are exactly where you belong!
More details including how to book: