Tag Archives: Scottish actors

INTERVIEW: Hannah Boyce, Scottish star of Dreamboats and Petticoats

With a starring role in the ever-popular Dreamboats and Petticoats straight out of drama school (she graduates this summer), Hannah Boyce is a star on the rise. Here she talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog about her journey from Scotland to the professional stage.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to become a performer?

I grew up just outside Glasgow in Milton of Campsie with my parents and Becky and Greg- my older brother and sister.  I did amdram with the Kirkintilloch Players and did lots of drawings and wrote silly stories!  At this time I wanted to write and illustrate kids’ books and I don’t think I understood that being an actress was a real job!  Then on Pancake Day, 11 years ago, my parents got tickets to see Cats in the Kings Theatre Glasgow and I loved it SO much!  I got the CD and the video and collected loads of memorabilia and that was the first musical I saw! After that we would go and see everything that toured close by and that’s when I realised that I wanted to be on the stage!

Tell us about your training.

My first formal training was at UK Theatre School, once I’d started to show a real interest in Theatre, which was such a great start for me as a young performer.  They managed to get the balance right between fun and actually teaching some pretty challenging stuff.  I was lucky enough to be taught by some really great people including Paul Christie and Chris Wilson who were very supportive and played a big part in my training at that time.  I also met some lovely friends there who I am still in touch with and can’t wait to see while I’m back in Scotland!  I then auditioned for the Preparatory Theatre Course at the Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood Secondary School, gaining a place and starting proper full-time training.  I then progressed onto the Musical Theatre Course, where I was helped by the amazing staff with my auditions for drama school.  Four years of brilliant training meant that I was accepted onto the BA Musical Theatre Course at the Guildford School of Acting which had been my ultimate aim from the start of my training!  I trained there for three years and I’m technically still there I suppose- I graduate in August!  The training at GSA is exceptional and the way the course focusses on building up technical stamina to perform ‘8 shows a week’ has been the best preparation for this tour!  Whilst at GSA I was very fortunate to be part of a hugely talented and hilarious year group who have done so well already! Very proud.

You’ve just started the UK tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats- tell us a bit about your character, the rehearsals and how it’s all going so far?

I’m playing the character of Laura.  She’s a 15 year old, geeky girl who loves writing music and is completely in love with Bobby- fellow school swat, but doesn’t know how to tell him! The story’s main plot is about Bobby and Laura’s relationship and a song writing competition that they want to enter.  This part is so much fun to play.  She’s at that stage where she’s flooded with hormones and never really knows the right thing to say!  She’s so awkward and endearing, not your traditional leading lady!  We’ve just opened the show after twelve days of rehearsal! It was heads down and late nights but the cast is so lovely to work with and we managed to have fun and stay positive even under that high pressure situation.

Can you give us an insight into the show and why you think it is so popular with audiences?

The show is just completely harmless and funny! It is so accessible and fast paced with amazing pop songs that most people already know! I think it’s so popular because it’s a great night out that literally gets people dancing in the isles.  The characters are so real that they’re easy to relate to and the script is hilarious which makes it almost like a funny little sitcom as well!  I met a man the other night who had seen the show over 40 times and says he still enjoyed it as much this time round as the first!

Up until now what has been your favourite role to play?

My favourite role to play was in GSA’s production of Sweet Charity where I was ensemble but was given the amazing opportunity of being Dance Captain.  It was all original choreography, so I did lots of work shopping with the choreographer, Stuart Winter, to come up with some really special stuff! It was such a challenge and I will always remember it!

Are there any roles you would like to play or shows you would like to be part of in the future?

I would love to do all sorts of things! Working professionally in theatre at all is amazing.  The statistics are absolutely against us!  I would be so happy doing anything, but there are some shows that I have my eye on while I can still get away with looking really young! I would love to do Mamma Mia- I went to see it with my family and it’s the only show that my Dad has given a standing ovation to! Says it all really! The big West End shows like Wicked and Les Miserables are obvious choices and dream shows for every performer, but Nessa Rose in Wicked is a lovely part! Also, it’s always been a big ambition of mine to originate a role.  That would be a massive deal!

There are many people out there contemplating a career in acting- what advice would you give to them?

I think everyone approaches this strange career differently but I can tell you what worked for me!  I think getting a good training is very important! Auditioning for drama school is really stressful and can be off-putting.  Most people don’t get offered a place first time but I think it’s so important to persevere to give yourself the best start! With training, don’t read too much into things! Pick and choose the things you are taught that work for you! Not everything will, and it’s just as important to discover the things that don’t work, because then you can come up with your own unique strategy that gets the best out of you.  Take criticism and act on it.  Have at least one part of your life that isn’t to do with theatre or acting, whether it’s a part time job or a hobby, it’s very useful to have an escape from it all when it gets a bit intense.  Learn an instrument! That’s what’s in demand- you’ll thank me when it comes to auditions!!

If you hadn’t become an actor what do you think you’d be doing now?

Well I wanted to do all sorts of things growing up! But I think I would be doing something in art.  Which is just as tricky as acting! I never choose the easy option!

Which performers inspire you?

There are so many people who inspire me from all sorts of productions and films I’ve seen! When I see an actor who listens and when you believe everything they say, that’s what does it for me.  Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries was a huge inspiration to me growing up, and I still think she’s an amazing actress and such a beautiful woman! She seems happy and healthy too, which is lovely to see when there are so many actors who get overwhelmed and fall apart.  She’s a great role model, I think.

What can we expect next from Hannah Boyce?

Oh God, I have no idea!! This is my first job and who knows when the next one will come along!  Until then I’ll hopefully be doing lots of auditions and hope to get back to teaching, which I’m missing already! I would love to try and settle in London and have an address again! But although it’s scary flying constantly by the seat of your pants, it’s also exciting never knowing what’s next! It’s not the most stable of career choices, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

DREAMBOATS and PETTICOATS visits Edinburgh and Glasgow this summer:

8 – 13 Jul 2013
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Click here to Book Tickets or call the Box Office 0844 871 3014.

19 – 24 Aug 2013
Kings Theatre, Glasgow
Click here to Book Tickets or call the Box Office 0844 871 7648.

Read more at http://www.dreamboatsandpetticoats.com/the-musical/#zUXsx1yRw06eJGl7.99

Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahKateBoyce

On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hannah.boyce.7

INTERVIEW: Sabrina Carter

Scottish actress Sabrina Carter is currently travelling the globe on the international tour of the smash hit One Man Two Guv’nors. Glasgow Theatre Blog managed to catch up with Sabrina from Sydney to find out about her journey from Scotland to the international stage. 

Can we go back to your beginnings – tell us about your background and what first sparked your interest in theatre?

I came to theatre quite late. It all started properly when I was 16 and my friend wanted someone to go with her to an audition for a show called Once on this Island for Durham Youth Music Theatre. I went along reluctantly, and ended up getting the lead part of Timoune. After that I played many roles including Mary Magdelene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ and Florence in Chess. After this I started to listen to more and more shows and found a great love of theatre.

When did you decide to seriously pursue a theatrical career?

I was about 17 and was looking at university courses to study psychology, and literally two days before I was due to hand in my UCAS forms I decided to change it to study acting at a university. I knew I wanted to do a 3 year course with dissertation at the end, so I applied to many any decided upon Northumbria University at Newcastle.

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Sabrina with Marti Pellow in Jekyll andHyde

You’ve  recently been appearing in One Man Two Guv’nors: what is it like being involved in such a universally lauded production?

It’s fantastic! What an honour to be part of a piece that has such acclaim and lucky to be working for one of the best theatre companies in the world, The National Theatre is something that I’ve dreamed of all my life.

You’ve had a diverse range of roles in your career, which is the role you are most proud of?

That’s a hard question as I try not to take jobs or audition for shows that I’m not going to learn from. I think I’m most proud of The 39 Steps. Most of work up until this point in London had been musicals so to make the leap to plays can be very difficult. I managed it and feel so proud of the people I worked with but more importantly to get to play Pamela, Margaret, and Annabella , three very different roles.

You have played the coveted role of Elphaba in Wicked; tell us about your experience in the show.

Elphaba is undoubtedly one of the hardest female roles to play, not just the level of singing required but the roller coaster of emotions she goes through is massive! I still hold a massive place in my heart for her and of course my ensemble role of Pfanee. I made some amazing friends on that show and worked with some of the best creatives in the world.

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Sabrina as Elphaba

My 1st performance of ‘Elphie’ was mid-show on a Saturday matinee. Alexia was literally being sick in the wings, which I was completely unaware of at the time, and I was doing the ‘Oz Dust ballroom’. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the stage management team stood side of stage, all looking at me and talking to each other. At the end of the dance I ran off to change when I was stopped, whilst the stage manager was chatting into her headset . Then it was like GO, GO, GO!!! A team of about four people hurried me downstairs to the wardrobe village ( undressing me as I was running) . I had sound teams changing my microphones, people changing my tights , people painting me green , it was manic! All the while I was trying to make sure my voice was ready for the marathon ahead. Approximately 8 minutes later I was dressed, micked and stood up stage right to enter with Dianne for ‘Emerald City’ … Then came the dreaded but thrilling ‘Defying Gravity’ …One of the most special and defining moments of my life. The highlight of the whole show was sharing it with the stunning Dianne Pilkington.

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Jennifer Tierney, Sabrina Carter as Pfanee and Dianne Pilkington as Glinda

What advice would you give to someone sitting back at home in Scotland considering training as an actor?

If you need to ask yourself if it’s the right profession, Then it’s not the right business for you! DO IT! Train well, and immerse yourself into every piece of theatre/performance you can. I trained at the Royal Conservatoire previously known as RSAMD. The skills I learned were invaluable.

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Sabrina as Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oliver!

What’s the best advice that you have received?

“Don’t forget people on the way up, as you’ll see them on the way down”

Tell us what you have been up to recently and what you’ve got planned for 2013 and beyond.

As I write this I’m in Sydney working on the international leg of  One Man, Two Guv’nors, this finishes end of June , then who knows were the wind will take me . I do miss singing so maybe a wee return to musicals – basically whoever will have me!

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Jeckyll and Hyde

A few quick questions…

What’s your favourite play/musical of all time?

Musical – Evita and Wicked (sorry that’s cringe!)
Play – Blithe Spirit

Who most inspires you?

Hard working non stagey actors

Your dream role?

It depends, in a musical – Eva Peron. I’ve just read Magdelena Alberto will be playing opposite my Mr Jekyll, Marti Pellow. She is fabulous, so I’ll look forward to seeing her in the role.

Play – Lady Macbeth

Favourite non-theatrical hobby?

Shopping ha ha (does that count?)

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Finally, describe yourself to us in three words!

Feisty, hardworking, loyal.

Follow Sabrina on Twitter @sabrinacarter29

INTERVIEW: Allison McKenzie star of Macbeth West End talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog

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You have opened in the eagerly anticipated Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios; how did the rehearsals go?

Rehearsal were very lively! We really attacked this play from the first day with a combination of intense movement workshops, voice and text work and sheer gusto in making bold and risky choices. Every day was full of surprises! A lot of energy was needed.

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Allison in rehearsal for Macbeth. Picture credit Johan Persson.

How did you prepare for your roles as Lady MacDuff and as one of the infamous Witches?

I prepared my portrayal of Lady MacDuff and also one of the Witches with a huge amount of research. As we are setting our production in a post apocalyptic/dystopian Scotland the choices had to be very true and pertaining to the time. I decided to make Lady MacDuff a very strong character. She is no pushover, very earthy with a very strong self of herself and what is right. Which made me lean towards making her a peaceful political activist trying to fight against Macbeth’s tyranny. My Witch on the other hand has no soul or moral compass and for that I explored soldiers with post traumatic stress syndrome and the dark arts which was really interesting. The questions brought up in rehearsals were ‘are the witches mortal; have they witnessed battle themselves; have they sold their soul to gain power; are they the voice of fate?’ which was so interesting to explore.

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Do you think being Scottish yourself you have more of an understanding of the heart and soul of Macbeth?

I don’t think being Scottish makes me have more of an understanding of the heart of the play. It’s a play of our times with a dictator, bloodshed and tyranny. It’s happening all over the world and could be set anywhere, even present day Syria. It’s beautiful to hear the language spoken in the Scots dialect though.

What can we expect from Jamie Lloyd’s new adaptation of the “Scottish Play”?

Jamie Lloyd has created a no holds barred Macbeth. It is visceral, bloody and moves at a ferocious pace. When speaking to audience members afterwards they feel they’ve been taken to hell and back and are absolutely exhausted watching it. They usually need a stiff drink or two to recover!

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James McAvoy and Jamie LLoyd in Macbeth rehearsals.

You are a familiar face in Scotland but can you tell our readers in the rest of the UK a bit about your background?

My background lies in all mediums of performance. From being in Glasgow Schools Youth Theatre as a young girl, to studying for 3 years at Drama School to then heading to Dundee Rep as part of their ensemble company for a year where I was nominated for Best Actress at The Theatre Management Awards for Sally Bowles in Cabaret. I then moved to London to concentrate on TV and film which brought me back to Scotland after a couple of years to play Joanne Rossi in River City. I decided to leave after 4 years to head back to my first love which is theatre. I’ve been really busy the last couple of years with two feature films being released and well as appearing on TV and stage.

You’ve appeared on television, film and on stage, what career ambitions would you still like to fulfill?

I have lots of ambitions I would like to fulfill. Always improving my craft is one of them. Consistently taking risks in the parts I play and working with creative and wonderful actors, writers and directors is fundamentally most important.

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What advice would you give to someone contemplating a career as an actor?

If you are thinking of becoming an actor I would advise you to go to drama school and train. It really serves you well in your career and opens lots of doors and believe in yourself! there are a lot of knock backs in this profession and you need to have the wisdom and gumption to know that you may not have been right for that particular part but you’re next job is just round the corner. Have faith!

What have you got planned for the rest of 2013 and beyond?

2013 has started off very well and long may it continue! I am about to start filming for the second series of Line of Duty which stars fellow Scottish actor Martin Compson, Robert Lindsay, Keeley Hawes and Jessica Raine. Written by Jed Mercurio it was BBC Two’s biggest new drama series for 10 years, series two will feature a new police corruption story told over six one-hour episodes. After that – well basically I’m very excited as to where the year will take me!

Finally, can you describe yourself in three words?

Happy, Spirited, Creative

INTERVIEW: Scotland’s own star of smash hit Jersey Boys talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog

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Scottish actor David McGranaghan recently joined the cast of the West End smash Jersey Boys in the starring role of Nick Massi. David’s impressive  credits include: Colin in Chariots of Fire; Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew; Father Damian in Be Near Me in the Donmar Warehouse/ National Theatre of Scotland production, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Boyfriend and Lady Be Good at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. 

Glasgow Theatre Blog had a chance to talk to David about his path from pupil at the Dance School of Scotland to the West End via the Royal Shakespeare Company and award-winning board game inventing!

Can we go back to the start, tell us about your background and what inspired you to become an actor.

I started off singing in my school’s music department. Through this came concerts and performances, so I almost fell into acting through my love for music. To move into working on scripts after performing lyrics and characters felt like a natural progression.

I see that you were a pupil at the Dance School of Scotland; I have interviewed many actors for this series and a large number are alumni of the school; what do you think it is about the training there that has produced so many top-rank West End performers?

I think that the teachers are very dedicated to their work, and their passion for the arts feeds into their pupils. Also they let us know from the very beginning that everything is down to hard work, so improvements are down to dedication and focus. I think from looking at myself and fellow Dance School students you can still see that in their attitude towards work and the industry.

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You have a very varied CV, from the RSC to the Regents Park Open Air Theatre and much more in between, what have been the highlights up to getting your current role in Jersey Boys?

I have been very lucky to jump around different types of theatre however working at the Donmar Warehouse which was a co-production with The National Theatre of Scotland was a great experience. It was a play called ‘Be Near Me’ which was set in my home turf of Ayrshire, and we premiered in Kilmarnock (40 minutes from my home) before we went down to London. Of course working on four completely different productions for the Royal Shakespeare Companies 50th Anniversary Season was another highlight. Working with phenomenal directors, actors and plays, it was as good as it can get for any young actor.

Before we talk about your starring role in Jersey Boys you are an award-winning entrepreneur, tell us about Game for Fame.

I invented a board game with fellow actor friend Joseph Pitcher (currently on tour with RSC’s Winter’s Tale) and we decided to go into business with it. It is fun family board game that takes the mick out of our celebrity obsessed society. Players must fight for fame and fortune by playing a number of fun games, and just like the real celeb circuit talent has nothing to do with success. While avoiding the Dole Queue or Re-Hab, players must attempt different games like guessing accents or talking with their tongue hanging out of their mouth, all with a very funny outcome (especially if a few glasses of wine are involved). It has been a great success for us both with deals from Tesco as well as a number of small stores and of course online, and we enjoy working on its success alongside our acting. For more information check out www.gameforfame.co.uk

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Let’s talk about your current starring role as Nick Massi in Jersey Boys, tell us a bit about the role of Nick and how you have prepared for it.

Nick is the bass player of the famous Four Seasons group. He is described as the ‘harmony genius’ and his three passions are music, woman and booze…in that order. Since he hates conflict or the arguments that the four guys find themselves in, he is often the quiet member of the group until he gets pushed too far and blows up. For playing Nick I taught myself Bass guitar for a start. Just playing a bass makes you feel very cool, simple and effortless, which is very much like Nick. I also did a lot of research about New Jersey, watched lots of Four Season performances with a fine tooth comb and watched movies based around the area and time of the group. After that the Jersey Boys creative team had so many stories that had been passed down from the band regarding the real Nick Massi that became a massive influence when building the character up.

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Jersey Boys is a phenomenal success in the West End, what is it like to join a show that is as well-established and well-loved as it is?

It’s exciting and intimidating at the same time. Since I was already a fan of the show I couldn’t wait to get the red jacket on and get going, however since it’s so well known you are aware that you are handling something that is precious to a lot of people, and if you mess up you will know about it. Thankfully that cast and creatives have all been great in guiding me during the rehearsal period while still giving me the freedom to explore my own ideas.

What do you think it is about Jersey Boys that makes it so popular with all age groups?

The music is timeless and appeals to all generations I think. I also think good theatre appeals to anyone no matter what age group they belong to. Our older audience members will remember some of the hits when they first came out however younger theatre goers will still surprise themselves with how many hits they know. The script is also based on their true story, and I think that each character and journey can resonate with all of us.

What drives you as a performer?

The excitement of auditioning or working on a role that you have lots of ideas for. Trying those ideas out and learning more about the character and yourself, going back to the drawing board and improving every time (well, hopefully improving). I think that is what drives me, the constant challenge and the never ending learning and discovering.

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 Are there any actors whom you admire or careers you’d like to emulate?

Hugh Jackman. Anyone that can do Oklahoma and Wolverine in one career has to be number one.

What ambitions would you still like to fulfil?

I now develop game shows for some companies off the back of Game For Fame so for one to work right through to commission would be a dream come true. Acting wise I’d love to do some Sondheim, Gabey in On The Town, work at venues such as The Globe and National and one day play MacBeth…not asking much really.

What advice would you give to any aspiring actors back home in Scotland?

Work hard. Put the hours in now and they will pay you back later.

Finally, what words best describe David McGranaghan?

Very good at Maths!

*DAVID AND HIS CO-STARS WILL BE APPEARING TOMORROW EVENING 6TH APRIL AT 7PM ON ANT AND DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY*

Follow David on Twitter @dave_mcg3

Jersey Boys tickets and info at www.jerseyboyslondon.com

INTERVIEW: Edward Reid

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Scottish performer Edward Reid first came to national attention with his unique take on some of the world’s most famous nursery rhymes in 2011’s Britain’s Got Talent. However, as with every showbiz story there’s more to it than meets the eye. Glasgow Theatre Blog had the chance to catch up with Edward to find out more…

Most people only know you from your performance in 2011’s Britain’s Got Talent, but you are a highly accomplished performer; can you tell us about the journey of Edward Reid before that television appearance?

Well firstly – thank you! I went to Motherwell College and did an HNC in Musical Theatre and from there went onto work in production shows abroad and on cruise ships. It led on from there and I did several plays in Glasgow and was a dancing Carrot on CBeebies. A friend suggested I sing in a pub she used to sing at and I was like “I am not a PUB SINGER”. Then I found out how much you got paid and quickly changed my mind. That’s when I began to develop my own cabaret.

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What effect did those few minutes on the show have on your life? 

Oh, that experience has changed me for so many reasons – being on TV has a major impact on people. I am well known know which is great but it was the lead up to that moment when I auditioned and singing on live TV that was most important. I changed as a person. I had to believe in myself which may sound cheesy but all performers need to have that strong sense of self!

Last year you appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe with your show Living the Dream One Song at a Time; tell us about the show and your Festival experience, and would you do it again?

I had such an amazing time and learned so much. Mainly that I know how I want to be perceived as a performer and I know what works for my audience. I had a director that tried to mould me into something different, which I was open to, but we both realised I needed to stay true to myself. The Fringe is amazing but very hard work. To be a part of it was flattering but you are in such competition with everyone, though I did meet many wonderful people.

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The (in)famous Twinkle Twinkle certainly captured the public’s attention but is your own self-titled album more of a reflection of the “real” Edward Reid?

I love singing ballads but I get instant validation from an audience when I do fun stuff. No one talks when I do up-beat stuff which I like as all eyes are on me  – HA HA! When I sing ballads I worry I’ve lost them so the album was my chance to do what I love.

Tell us how you selected the songs for the album. 

The songs are all my favorites and the ones my friends and family suggested I sing. They always know best!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

To love yourself.

What advice would you give to any aspiring performer?

To love yourself – or at least like yourself. Be able to look in the mirror and like what you see. If you have that sorted everything else will fall into place.

If you could create a fantasy production to star in, what would it be and who would be your fellow cast members?

It would be a world tour where I go to random places to perform followed by a TV crew! I have so many talented friends that I would have them in the cast.

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You are very much known for spreading positivity, your website even has its own Be Fabulous section – do you have any words or quotes to inspire your fans?

As I said – Love Yourself, but also to have big dreams and to feel what it’s like to have those dreams come true everyday. And be kind to everyone and learn to forgive.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Positive, happy, fickle.

Finally, what fabulousness can we expect next from Edward Reid?

I have a few things in the pipeline so I will be letting the world know not if but when they happen!

For more information about Edward visit his website at http://www.edwardland.co.uk/

Follow on Twitter @mredwardreid

Edward’s self-titled album is available on iTunes

INTERVIEW: George Ure

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George Ure talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog about his beginnings as a schoolboy in Lanarkshire to starring in London’s West End.

Can you tell us what inspired you to go on the path from schoolboy in Airdrie to West End star?

My parents took me to the local children’s theatre when I was about 8, purely to give me something to do on a Saturday. I was already studying piano and trumpet by this point so it was my first real experience of drama as such. Needless to say I loved it from the word go and have been at it ever since! I was fortunate to train at some great schools in Scotland, and also had a very supportive team of drama/music teachers at high school, so I was always very well guided.

You went straight from graduating into the West End, that doesn’t happen to many performers; how did your training prepare you for life in one of the biggest shows in the West End?

I certainly count myself as one of the lucky ones. It’s all about timing, and it just so happened that my dream job opened up at exactly the right time. I had the most wonderful three years at drama school, and I don’t think I would have been mentally prepared to go in to a show like Wicked without it. Lots of people are very talented singers, actors, dancers-that’s why they get in to colleges. But we were always given a very honest and realistic view of what to expect from the business, and likewise, what not to. Apart from the stamina of keeping up 8 shows a week, it’s how to deal with being a good company member, how to negotiate different personalities in a group, and how to remain grounded whilst being part of such a phenomenon.

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As Boq in Wicked

What’s your best memory from your time in Wicked?

I spent three years with the show, so it would be impossible to pick just one. Admittedly, my very first show on 9th June 2008 will stay with me forever. Hearing that overture start then looking out to 2300 people was truly the most exhilarating moment of my life. I had only dreamed of being in the show, so the reality was everything I could have imagined, and so much more. Getting the call to say I was going to play Boq was huge too – it was the absolute cherry on top. There are too many funny moments and offstage memories which kept every day different. Some of them will stay closely guarded secrets!

Wicked fans are known for their fervent devotion to the show; have you had any interesting encounters with the fans?

I was (and am) always overwhelmed by the tremendous loyalty and support shown by fans of the show. They are a big part of your experience as a member of the cast and I always found them to be supportive, respectful and generous. There were a few interesting moments, like getting followed home on the tube, but you have to be prepared for the attention in such a huge West End show, and remember that it’s a heightened reality.

What do you think your strengths as a performer are?

I like to consider myself versatile, and always look to broaden my skills. The business calls for multi-faceted performers these days, so you have to be very pro-active in maintaining your voice, body and mind, and learning new things that can open up work to you.

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With the students at Mountview Academy

You have been working at Italia Conti with young performers: can you tell us about that?

Being able to work in drama colleges and teach the standard of talent I am presented with every day is truly a joy. I spent a wonderful year with the students at Mountview Academy, and it’s great to have new faces at Italia Conti. Its reputation is world famous and the students are a joy.

What advice do you find yourself giving to the aspiring actors there?

I always aim to be completely honest with students, whether it is what they want to hear or not. This is a very exciting business to work in, but it is also a tough one, and I think it is vital to inform students of the highs and lows, and the do’s and dont’s as I see them from my experience.

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Harriet Thorpe as Madame Morrible in Wicked

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The beautiful Harriet Thorpe (above) once told me “there are two types of people in your life; radiators and drains. Go to the radiator”. I stick by that at all times. I am always grateful to have been surrounded by such true friends.

You have been working as a freelance vocal coach, tell us about that.

This job takes me all over the place and makes every day interesting. I have the joy of being able to go to different colleges/schools, and work with highly talented individuals looking to make their way in the industry. I have recently been appointed Head of Music at West End Masterclass, which is a tremendous training ground for talent. The buzz from being a teacher is just as huge as standing on stage. When a student calls you to say they have their first job it’s the best. Last night I saw two of my boys play leads in Taboo, and have never felt prouder.

There are many Scottish theatre performers currently making their mark in musical theatre, what particular traits do you think that Scots performers have that makes them stand out from the rest?

The accent! Regional accents instantly grab people’s attention, and make you stand out. Also, Scots have “the banter”!

What advice would you give to a young person in Scotland who is thinking about embarking on a career in musical theatre?

Go for gold. Set your eyes on the prize and never settle for second best. If you are hungry, passionate and driven then you are half way there. Be a sponge – listen to EVERYONE and see what works for you. Be open and eager to learn. The only thing that will hold you back is yourself so aim high and push through.

What ambitions would you still like to fulfil?

There are lots of things I still want to do. I feel I am only at the start, and always look forward to what new opportunities may arise. An Oscar would be nice. So would a Tony and a number 1 album…time will tell. I’m not in a race to the finish.

Tell us what’s next for you in 2013 and beyond.

I am off to Dubai in April to play Tobias in Sweeney Todd for a limited run. This ticks off two of my dream roles and I am delighted to be part of this epic new production. After that…who knows? That’s the exciting part!

Do you have a message for your fans?

Thank you for your unwavering support, and for always being so wonderfully kind and loyal. You will never know how much it means to know you have so many people on your side in what is an unpredictable business.

Finally, describe yourself in three words for us!

Positive, Passionate, Happy….(And just a wee bit mental 😉 )

G x

Follow George on Twitter @george_ure

More information about West End Masterclass here