Sunday, 17 November 2013

My Second Interviewee....Rob Brown

The aim of these interviews is to share with one another our love for the theatre and the arts. So here we go!

Now, over to our second interviewee, Rob Brown, a fellow theatre fan who is passionate about musical theatre and drama.

Rob Brown on Broadway in 2013 (Photo credit: Rob Brown)

Please tell me how you got into musical theatre/theatre in general?

I think I must have been born with a love for the theatre, as I've been interested in it for as long as I can remember. I would always enjoy going to see shows as a child - whether they were at theme parks, pantomimes or the odd musical.

Although these days I spend most of my time watching the professionals, I used to perform in a lot of plays and musicals at primary school, high school and my local village theatre.

What have been the highlights of your musical theatre journey?

Seeing Michael Crawford in a musical (The Wizard of Oz) has to be one of the highlights for me, as years before I could afford to see a lot of shows, I would listen to The Phantom of the Opera OLC recording on repeat (it was the first musical I truly loved listening to again and again) and, even on first listen all those years ago, I was just blown away by Michael's menacing yet emotive performance; which is one the reasons I would listen so often.

Rob Brown with Michael Crawford (Wizard in Wizard of Oz, 2011) (Photo credit: Rob Brown)
For the same reason, getting to see The Phantom of the Opera's 25th Anniversary performance at The Royal Albert Hall was such a phenomenal experience - with an appearance by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a jaw-dropping finale of Sarah Brightman and 4 Phantoms singing the title song.

What shows do you recommend that are currently playing in the West End or on tour nationally?

Phantom and Les Miserables are two shows I think everyone should see if they are in London for their emotive power and spectacle - although I listen to the recordings a lot at home I tend to see both on average of once a year, which means I get to see new takes on the roles and go back in eager to see how the cast have evolved.

In addition, Matilda, Wicked (now touring the country for at least a year), Jersey Boys and We Will Rock You are all musicals I never tire of seeing; all are filled with fantastic songs and great stories (even if We Will Rock You's is far from conventional - that's what I love about it).

Plus any plays or musicals at Sheffield Crucible Theatre. A unique space, it's always used brilliantly, shows great plays and musicals, at extremely reasonable prices. I've seen Shakespeare, Pinter and Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey there and all 3 productions blew me away.

Are there any shows that you haven’t seen that you would like to?

Yes there are always great new plays and musicals coming in to the West End and on tour it's impossible to see them all.

I don't think I am going to get chance to see these but I fancy seeing Lee Evans in Barking in Essex and Miranda Raison (hilarious in the TV programme Vexed) in Strangers on a Train.

What have been your theatrical highlights in 2013?

Seeing Helen Mirren as The Queen in The Audience - I think it takes a huge amount of courage to play the current monarch on stage 8 times a week.

Getting to see Judi Dench in Peter and Alice - a truly heartbreaking performance.

My first trip to Broadway including seeing Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy.

Kenneth Branagh in Macbeth at St Peter's Church in Manchester - one of the great Shakespearean actors performing in a unique setting. I will never forget that 30 mins before the show started, as the audience entered the church, Alex Kingston was sat with her back to the audience lighting candles. A truly immerse experience.

Rob Brown with Judi Dench (Alice in Alice and Peter, 2013) (Photo Credit: Rob Brown)
What show are you planning to see next?

I am going to back to see Wicked next weekend (23rd November 2013) as Willemjin Verkaik is playing Elphaba. She has played the role in Germany, Holland and on Broadway to great acclaim - so it will be fantastic to witness her performance first-hand. I've seen some YouTube videos of her in the role - phenomenal.

May I take an opportunity to say a big thank you to Rob for taking part in this interview.  He can be contacted on Twitter: @ilovewemusicals

Please keep tuned for my next interviewee....which is coming very soon!

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