Thanks for joining us today, Alex – how’s the tour going?
It’s going really well, we’ve had a brilliant reception in Hull this week and we’re all really enjoying it, it’s great to be back.
This is your second run with Bill Kenwright’s production – what is it about this musical and your role that made you decide to continue into 2015?
The music, the 60s music, it’s incredible to get to sing it eight times a week, I really love 60s music. The character of Bobby, well, I do identify with him, I have a little soft spot for him, which makes me want to play him. We’re similar because we’re typical boys, we don’t really think about things, like girls feelings – an ignorant boy (laughs).
The cast must know each other so well now – is it like one big family?
Yeah, it really is. It’s also amazing to have the live band on stage with you as well because you feel like you have that support. Everyone gets on great, everywhere we go we all go for meals together or stay in digs together, so yeah, it really is like one big family.
You have a new Norman – how is Alastair settling in?
Brilliant, absolutely amazing, he’s such a pleasure to work with. We got on really well on and off stage, so it’s really nice. He has taken over from Ross and he probably was a bit nervous, but I experience the same thing when we started Miniskirts last year because there was only me and Ross who were new to the franchise, everyone else had been in Petticoats at some point. I did kind of feel it would be hard to slot in, but actually, it was really easy because they’re such a nice bunch of people.
For those that haven’t seen the show, tell us a bit about it and your character.
The show focuses on Bobby and Laura, they’ve just had massive success with Dreamboats and Petticoats, and in Miniskirts, you see how their relationship, professionally and romantically, is going to work and whether it will work. You also have recurring characters Norman and Sue, who are getting on nicely, they’re married. And then there’s Donna and Ray. Ray is now working in a salon in Bond Street and Donna’s working in her boutique and they’re going through every day relationship struggles too. They’re a little bit older, everyone’s matured apart from Bobby (laughs).
It’s a show set in the 1960s – do you find the audiences are of that generation or is it appealing to a younger audience?
A bit of both actually. Generally, the audiences we get are people who were the age of the characters in the show in the 60s, and the people we get to meet after the show, most of them will tell us it took them back to their youth and it was really nice to reminisce. But then also, that generation are then taking their children and their children’s children to come and see it as well. We’ve had young children in the audience, who, some of them, know all the words, which is brilliant. So it just goes to show that even if you weren’t around in that era, you can still appreciate it.
Has your music and fashion taste changed because of the show?
I’ve always loved 60s music, although it was more jazz and soul, Ben E. King, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, all those great singers. And then in the show you’ve got Roy Orbison, Smokey Robinson and other amazing singers that you don’t really get these days. And their songs have stood the test of time and that’s why I like this kind of music. As for the fashion, I do like the Chelsea boots that I get to wear every night, and to have a nice sharp suit to wear is always really nice .
You said you have grown as the show has gone on – how have you changed from your very first performance last August to now?
I’ve definitely relaxed into the role and what has really helped is finding those similarities between you as a person, and character, it makes it a lot easier to relate to. And it’s taught me not to be so hard on myself. Because it’s such a massive role in the show, no one’s superhuman, you learn how to conserve your energy but still make sure you give enough for every show. And those are skills that will hopefully carry on in the rest of my career.
Do you like being on the road? Where are you looking forward to visiting on this tour?
I love being on the road! I’m really looking forward to going to Manchester which is where I trained (Alex studied at the Arden School of Theatre) so it’s going to be amazing to go back there and see some old friends who I’ve not seen in years and who are coming to the show. It’s such an amazing city and one of the best places to live as well as London.
And you get to go home to Windsor again having opened the tour there last August – bet you can’t wait!
Yeah, I’m really looking forward to going back to Windsor and seeing all my hometown crowd. And that’s what made the first time round so special – we were opening a new show, it was the first time I’d played a lead and it was in my hometown theatre, so that was really amazing.
All my family will be there, as well as extended families, aunties and uncles, they’re all still quite local to the area. And my grandparents, regardless of where the show is, they’ll come and see me. They’ve been to Cardiff, all over the place. They’re my super fans (laughs).
lDreamboats and Miniskirts is at the Victoria Theatre fromMonday, April 27, to Saturday, May 2. For tickets call the box office on 01422 351158.