5 minutes with... Jessica Hill

9 Dec 2014

As we prepare to join Ballet Theatre UK on a magical journey to the dark and twisting streets of old Dickensian London in A Christmas Carol (27-28 Dec), we caught up with principal dancer Jessica Hill for a special ‘5 minutes with…’ interview about her career, her role in the performance, and her favourite Christmas story…

When did you first know you wanted to work in the performing arts?

I knew I wanted to work in the performing arts when I watched a pantomime at a very young age. I loved it and knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of the magic! I begged my mum and then, before I knew it, I was in my very first dance class!

When did you start professional ballet training?

I started my professional ballet training at Tring Park School when I was 11 years old. I graduated in 2011 and started my professional career with Ballet Theatre UK.

What was the first ballet you ever saw?

The first ballet I saw was Cinderella at the Royal Opera House when I was 10 years old.

What was the proudest moment of your career?

The proudest moment of my career was when I was cast as Alice in Alice in Wonderland; it was my first lead and a monumental step forward in my career. I was only 19 years old.

Who do you play in A Christmas Carol?

In A Christmas Carol I play Mrs Cratchet, which is a vast role to play emotionally, as she is the mother of Tiny Tim. There is a whole spectrum of emotions to play, from the stress of struggling in poverty, to the maternal bond of a mother and then grief of personal loss of a loved one. I always find a way to link to the characters I play through my own personal experiences.

Why did Ballet Theatre UK choose to perform A Christmas Carol this season?

We chose A Christmas Carol because it is an iconic Christmas tale; bursting at the seams with life morals that children and adults alike can learn from. It is a wonderfully festive story and I hope people will enjoy watching it as much as I love performing it!

What is your favourite Christmas Story?

My favourite Christmas story is The Grinch. It was my favourite Dr Seuss classic as a child, and my love for it only grew more when Jim Carrey portrayed the Grinch in the film! It is another thought-provoking story - hidden in a children's tale - that shows, among other things, that Christmas is about spending time with the people who matter most to you.

A Christmas Carol plays on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 December. To book tickets, click here.