Tag Archives: Rock of Ages

INTERVIEW: Rock of Ages’ Sandy Moffat talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog

Can I start by asking a bit about your road from Scotland to the West End, tell us about your background and what inspired you to become an actor?

I feel like my journey to the West End was a series of very fortunate events. I started acting at an amateur level when I was about 17 but didn’t consider it seriously as a career. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Aberdeen University for a year before deciding a life behind a desk wasn’t for me. I spent about a year gigging and doing bits and pieces before I auditioned for London Studio Centre (I’m still amazed that I got in as my talent was raw to say the least!). After a few years of training I was lucky enough to get a job as swing in We Will Rock You.

Who are your theatrical heroes?

I think my theatrical heroes would be Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown. I’m a huge fan of the complexity and intelligence in their compositions.

You have a very varied CV what have been the highlights up to now?

I’ve been very lucky so far in my career, I had a lot of great opportunities whilst performing in We Will Rock You. I sang at the Olympic handover ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace and performed with Queen on their world stadium tour. I also think performing “School’s out” with Alice Cooper at Rock of Ages was pretty cool!

I see you’ve done a bit of work in Germany, did that help you when preparing to play Franz!

I lived and worked in Cologne for 18 months and loved every second of it! I’ve got a real soft spot for Germany and if the right role came up I wouldn’t hesitate to return. I think it did help with my preparations for Franz, I’ve spent lots of time surrounded by Germans speaking English so I’m pretty good at impersonating the accent.

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The cast of Rock of Ages

Tell us about Franz in Rock of Ages – he’s certainly an unforgettable character – is he as much fun to play as he is to watch?

He is great fun to play! The problem is that he has so much energy, it gets tough to keep up sometimes. I’m very lucky that he’s such a funny character and the audience warms to him every night. I have some great lines and the show certainly never gets boring for me.

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Sandy (far left) in one of his eye-catching costumes as Franz

You are starring in eight shows a week, in a long running show how do you keep your performance fresh every night?

It’s the toughest part of my job. I think it’s important to re-invent the character from time to time and make sure that you always try new things, sometimes they won’t work but that’s how I find new things. I’m very lucky that I work with such great actors who are constantly throwing new things at me which makes it easy for me to keep what I do fresh. If it’s fresh for me then hopefully it’s fresh for the audience.

How do you unwind during your time away from the show?

I ride my motorcycle as much as possible! I love riding the bike into the country with my tent on the back and spending a few days living outside, I like to get away from London and relax. I also play the guitar and I enjoy watching films and on a Sunday I can be found sitting in the pub with a roast dinner.

A lot of actors are talented musicians, you say on your Twitter profile that you’re a rock star wannabe – are you making any plans to pursue that?

I’m 30 so I think I’ve missed the rock star boat, but I do really enjoy playing the guitar and I’d like to get out and do more singing and playing.

What music particularly inspires you?

I love Rock music which is why Rock of Ages is kind of my perfect job. When I got the audition I remember digging out all the songs I’ve always wanted to sing for auditions but were never suitable for musical theatre, I ended up singing Bon Jovi’s “In these Arms”.

What career aspirations do you have?

It sounds like a cliche but my main aim is to be happy in my work and I don’t really mind what I’m doing, as long as I can make a living of course! I’d like to try TV and film acting but for now I’m very happy doing musicals.

What can we expect next from Sandy Moffat?

Who knows?! My current contract at Rock Of Ages ends in September and it’s too soon to be making plans. The life of an actor is an unpredictable one so your guess is as good as mine.

Finally, how would you describe yourself in three words?

Immature through choice 😉

Follow Sandy on Twitter @sandy_moffat

For information and booking details for Rock of Ages visit http://www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/

REVIEW: Rock of Ages starring Justin Lee Collins, Shayne Ward, Simon Lipkin and Oliver Tompsett at the Shaftesbury Theatre London, 18th October 2011

Well it’s set in the 80’s, and it stars these two…

Shayne Ward – remember him??

and Justin Lee Collins.

As you can see it’s really high brow and understated! It also stars Natalie Andreou, Simon Lipkin and Oliver Tompsett in his first role since leaving Wicked 2 years ago.

Well subtle it ain’t, but entertaining it is. It makes up in energy and enthusiasm for what it lacks in storyline or subtlety. You would be hard pressed not to leave with a huge smile on your face, especially after waving your (complimentary) “lighter” in the air during the power ballads and having drinks served to you at your seat during the show. You can see where the producers are going with this – who cares about the story if your a bit inebriated and singing along to the biggest hits of the 80s – what’s not to love???? There’s actually a lot to love.

Justin Lee Collins role is hardly a stretch but he equips himself with aplomb and he can sing well enough for the character. His comic timing is great and he gauges the audience well, interacting with knowing winks and glances.

Oliver Tompsett is a revelation – usually playing the classic West End leading man, he has a beautiful voice for traditional musical theatre but here – well WOW! Boy can he sing. His “rock” voice is stupendous, holding and controlling some amazing notes – just brilliant. He plays the nice guy who wants to be a bad boy rocker just perfectly and his winning charm has you on his side from the start.

Simon Lipkin (above as Lonny) had to suffer from wearing a sleazy looking mullet all evening but overcame this handicap by being the funniest thing on the stage. He had the audience firmly in the palm of his hand from the get-go. (He also has a natty line in tasteless t-shirts for you to watch out for.) The guy is comedy gold dust.

I can hear the stampede from the bus loads of hen and stag parties right now!! It’s just great fun – if you’re up for a feel-good night and want to leave with a huge smile on your face (as well as the debris from the glitter bombs and streamer cannons) go and enjoy.