Working in “The Lane”…

I’m very excited to have wormed my way back into the West End again…

I have been cast in the final West End cast of The Producers, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – so I’m over the moon.

I’ll be playing various characters (more about those in a minute!) and covering both the ‘Lead Tenor’ (who sings “Springtime For Hitler”, and the lead role of Roger DeBris – the Broadway Director who sings “Keep It Gay”, “Heil Myself” etc. (The picture is of Gary Beach who originally played the role of Roger DeBris on Broadway.)

I’ve had my first Wig fitting session last week, and my first Costume fitting earlier today – at both of which I got very over excited!! I seem to remember posting something similar nearly a year ago for the Scrooge tour… my excitement at getting put into the costumes and wigs etc. for the show. See – I’m easily pleased!!

It was great to work through all the different characters I will be playing and see the costumes I will be wearing for each opf them. And believe you me there are QUITE a few! All the wardrobe team were really nice. Especially considering I will have to have nearly all my costumes either made for me or adjusted, as they are working from a set of Canadian costumes so don’t have many spares. And my big hips don’t help!

It seems to be the same for the wigs – Richard (at the Wig makers) told me I shall be nice and busy in the show, and we worked out that I’d have a number of wigs, especially including my covers. Hurrah. Mrs Keelan will be very jealous (Wig, Score and 1st Night Party…. one down, 2 to go….)

I bumped into my friend Kate at the theatre who is currently in the show. She’ll be staying after the re-cast, which is great – aways nice to have a friendly face on board. I don’t think I know anyone else in the cast, so it’ll be fun meeting a whole load of new faces.

Just over two weeks until starting rehearsals now and I can’t wait!!!!

Summer sun in Norway…

I have just returned this evening from a weekend in Norway, working on the ‘Terje Vigen’ project. I had recorded the English version of the poem (with music by Kjell-Ole Haune) and the show has had 3 performances now in various theatres in Norway.

At this latest venue, the timing worked out well enough to have the performer of the Norwegian version (Rein Alexander – pictured), the performer of the German version (Alexander Lycke) and myself in the same place at the same time – a first I think!

The writer took the opportunity to film some short segments with both Alex and myself peforming in the respective languages, to be used for the promotion of the show to the various companies and countries which the producers have contact with.

I haven’t seen the photos or the film footage yet – so we’ll have to wait and see. But having checked in the mirror before going on stage it would appear that my longer hair these days, and the fact that I haven’t shaved for over a week is certainly having an effect! Add to that a judicious bit of make-up and some greying of the hair, I hope the results will be quite interesting.

The long hair thing has been a bit of an issue for a while now (within myself!) so maybe these pics will help clarify things a bit. We shall see…

It’s been a while…

…but I have finally found my way back to the West End again!

I was very excited to hear from my agent that I had been offered a role in the London cast of “The Producers” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. I will be playing various characters in the show and also covering (understudying) Roger DeBris and the Lead Tenor.

The last time I was involved in a long run of a show in London was Les Miserables, back in 1998 – phew, that makes me feel old!! Although I have done some great work since then, and also done quite a bit of work in London, it’s going to be great to combine the two again.

A friend of mine is currently in the cast and has decided to extend her contract until the show closes in January 2007, so it’s cool that there will be at least one friendly face when I open in the show in August. We have 3 weeks of rehearsals from the middle of July and then open on the 7th August.

The production of “Little Women” which I was involved with last year took place at the Theatre Royal, but it’s a great theatre to be able to say you have spent some time in – with it’s history and the kudos it holds, having had so many fantastic shows and performances on the stage.

I’ll try and post as often as possible, as I did with Scrooge so you can have some idea of what’s going on!