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Wales Online
Wales Online
Megan Nisbet

Sophie Evans on struggle of starting family alongside her career and why she got married to Welsh rugby star in a high street dress with no bridesmaids or first dance

It's been a big year for Welsh actress Sophie Evans. The West End star, known for playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz musical and Glinda in the production Wicked, has moved back to Wales, tied the knot with professional rugby player Ellis Jenkins, stormed the Britian's Got Talent stage and announced the lovely news the couple are expecting their first child.

The 29-year-old also wrapped up playing Glinda at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre at the start of the year after more than 750 shows. Sophie had returned to the role for a six-month stint after the pandemic and saying goodbye was, understandably, an emotional one.

"I was really ready but obviously super emotional," Sophie explained. "Wicked was my ultimate favourite show, it was the show that inspired me as a teenager to kind of really pursue musical theatre. Never say never, but I don't think I'll go back to that role.

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"I was also aware that we wanted to start a family and Ellis was in Cardiff and I was in London," Sophie added: "I stepped away for a little bit to at least give us a chance because it's quite hard when you're in different countries."

The couple, who met when they were teenagers and got engaged on Christmas Day in 2021, announced they were expecting a baby back in June, and are preparing to welcome a boy in December 2022. With the countdown officially on, Sophie said: "I feel prepared as anyone can feel, I don't know if anyone's ever truly, fully prepared until they are actually here," before adding: "I think he's going to be a big boy, so I'm prepping to go a little bit sooner potentially."

Wales star Ellis Jenkins and fiancee Sophie Evans are having a baby (Instagram/Sophie Evans)

Shortly after their pregnancy announcement, Sophie and Ellis got married at Cardiff's City Hall, the actress and singer looked incredible in a beaded dress from ASOS. The pair's wedding was a small affair with the couple planning a much bigger celebration in Ibiza in 2024.

"I had no bridesmaids, we didn't have a first dance, we didn't do anything like that in the Cardiff one," Sophie explained. "So all of those things we are keeping for 2024.

"It was a perfect day, we had 30 guests, really close friends and family. We went to Thomas by Tom Simmons in Pontcanna for a beautiful meal afterwards and it was just really relaxed and we just spent the whole day together reminiscing."

The musical theatre star, who hails from Tonypandy, is also excited for her next chapter to be in Wales. "I'm such a home bird, always have been," she told us. "When I'm here I miss the performing and when I'm there I miss home, I'm always in limbo but at the moment I'm really, really settled and I can't really imagine uprooting anytime soon to go back."

Earlier this year Sophie was back on stage alongside Welsh of the West End, the group, who were put together by Steffan Hughes, made headlines during lockdown for their incredible online performances and reached the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent. "We all knew we could sing, it was just about spreading the story of how the theatre industry was impacted by the pandemic, so that was our main goal," Sophie explained.

"It was an amazing experience and we'll have that footage forever and it represents a really specific moment in time." The group has since performed in Dubai, representing Wales, and has plans for the future, including performing at the autumn internationals, although Sophie admits the "logistics of 10 people is quite hard to manage".

Looking to the future Sophie said there are stage characters she'd love to take on but "it's really tricky" given how demanding the roles she'd like to play are and starting a family. The Welsh star said she "completely admires" those who are able to balance both. "I just can't see how it's possible, especially in the roles that I would like to play," she explained. "They are really full on and I'm really conscious of being there as a present mother as well so it's kind of thinking how do you manage it? So I just think going with the flow, I do a lot of concert work and gig work with the Welsh of the West End from Britain's Got Talent."

She continued: "There are shows I'd love to do, maybe Jenna in Waitress or Fantine in Les Mis, but I don't think I can plan it, I think if the opportunity arises I'll assess whether it's possible because we'd like a big family."

"It's really, really, difficult, for women especially," Sophie added. "I don't really think it's spoken about how difficult it is to manage it all. You feel guilt in both aspects, you think 'am I giving up on my career if I slow down for a bit, or if I focus on my career am I being a bad parent' so I think there's always that pressure and trying to find that balance."

Sophie said she'd like a bit more "freedom and flexibility" with what she does next, she explained: "So I don't know, another album maybe, I'd really love to focus on presenting as well. I've dabbled this year with a bit of presenting work and I think that's probably a bit more sustainable with a family, especially with all the opportunities that are happening in Cardiff."

Would she and Ellis ever consider a reality television show? "Never say never," Sophie teased, although Ellis might need some convincing. "I mean, I'm very open with what I share with the world and I'm not a very shy person," she said. "I think talking about things is great. It would be convincing Ellis to do something like that, that would be the tricky part but I would love to document [our lives]."

She added: "I should have really documented the pregnancy to be honest, even for my social media, I've done a little bit but it's nice to look back on. I'm lucky that people care about what I do!"

Sophie Evans was among the singers in the group (Jo Allan PR)

And with Christmas just around the corner and the arrival of baby Jenkins imminent, Sophie has yet more news to share. The West End star has been announced as the brand-new celebrity ambassador for the all-important Noah's Ark Charity.

Sophie is set to headline the Hollywood Glamour Christmas Ball which takes place on Friday, December 2 at the Hilton, Cardiff. All funds raised from the event will go directly to maintaining world-class care for young patients and families at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.

Speaking of the importance of the role, Sophie said: "I'm so honoured, and especially now I'm pregnant, it obviously brings a different aspect to it. I had a connection with Noah's Ark a few years ago and went into the hospital a handful of times to see the work they do and the families they help.

"It's super emotional and I'm a very emotional person anyway, going in there is very eye-opening when you see how positive the children are and it's really, really moving so anything I can do to help.

"I have a niece and nephew and the thought of them ever needing help or care I'm really passionate about that being available to them, which is why Noah's Ark is such a fantastic one [charity]."

Limited tables remain for the event, which will include a golden ticket raffle, silent auction, and three-course meal, so head to the Noah's Ark Charity website to secure your table. For more showbiz and television stories get our newsletter here.


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