Sad to say but I'm done with Les Miserables, at least for the time being. To be quite frank I feel the time is right to take a break, head off along the road and see what lies around the bend. It's been a wild year quite frankly; long stint as Javert, moonlighting as Raoul, barking at the National Guard for a couple of weeks and more besides. But all this good old-fashioned musical theatre makes me yearn for something else. So I doubt I'll be returning to the barricades or the opera mighty soon.
First priority is an album - my own material, offering something new to the ears of the world. I'm excited by the prospect of working with the producer/arranger who's agreed to record with me. The sixteen-year-old music nerd in me is in heaven, in fact. Once it's all definitely fixed (he's a busy man), I'll let on who it is. Hoping it'll be available for download before Christmas.
That seems like a long way away, so before then I hope to gig a little more in the run up to the album's release - mostly in London I expect (though a couple elsewhere too). And as for the rest, well I'm back to auditioning and the actor's perennial search for that dream job. I've had a couple this past year, so I hope my luck holds...
Well, the O2 Les Mis Concerts are done and dusted and committed to DVD for ever more. I think I only made one clanging mistake (in the matinee), which in all honesty I hope never sees the light of day. It might make the DVD extras of course. Wait and see...With that all done and dusted, and with a little while to go before another big announcement, I want to introduce you to a few people who'll be joining me for a couple of concerts from here on in. First up, at Lauderdale House on October 24th, I'll be joined by the truly amazing RAMIN KARIMLOO and the rest of his exciting new band THE SHEYTOONS (umm, actually that's just me). Ramin's career currently sees him striding atop Mount West End as the Phantom in LOVE NEVER DIES, so make sure to catch The Sheytoons before anyone knows about them and they go global. Also in line for a Lauderdale call-up is TOM DEERING, Musical Director, Vocal Arranger and one-third of prog-rock-theatre dream team THE KNIGHTS OF HYPERBOLE. Hold on to your asses people, Lauderdale's gonna give 'em a kicking. In the wake of that concert, I'll be inviting a whole mob of lovely people to join in the festive fun at the Waterloo East Theatre come December 19th (produced by the lovely people at SimGProductions). Ramin and Tom will be be back to rock the joint, as will the incomparable STUART MATTHEW PRICE (who has a voice from the fourth dimension), the wonderful CEILI O'CONNOR (who'll soon be showing them what a real Dorothy can do, in the Wizard of Oz), jazz beauty SOPHIE SMITH (who I guarantee will melt your stony, world-hardened hearts), South African tunesmith WARWICK LOBBAN (a man of mesmeric musical ability) and more to be announced to due course.Please come along to one, both or neither. It's totally your choice. Seriously.
...then there is another way to join us before the DVD comes out. The concert will be shown live at selected VUE cinemas across the country (I think that's pretty cool). Here's a list of the venues...
Excited to confirm my participation in the upcoming LES MIS O2 Arena concerts. What a way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the show, and what a cast to be joining. Delighted to be taking on the drunk, Grantaire - I need look no further than my own year in the show for artistic inspiration in that respect. Delighted too to be reunited with PIRATE QUEEN collaborators Claude-Michel Schonberg & Alain Boublil, and a whole host of friendly faces from the old days (including fellow Sheytooner Ramin Karimloo - look out for more Sheytoon news soon).
Additionally, also pleased to be confirming I'll be headlining at LAUDERDALE HOUSE on the 24th October, supported by the fabulous Ashleigh Jones. Really chuffed to be joining a great line-up for this season, and planning an interesting and eclectic evening of musical entertainment.
Watch this space for more details of both concerts.
Looks like Hadley will be crooning his way through his own wee concert in London at the back end of October (most likely the 24th). More details to appear in due course, but keep your nose to the ground people...
A quick one just to confirm Hadley's participation in the forthcoming Scott Alan concert, September 26th at the New Players Theatre
. Lots of details to be found at simgproductions.com
and elsewhere. Come along and say hello if you've the time and inclination. Great line-up for the concert including Scott himself, and a sneaky-peak at some of the work done on Scott's song cycle "Home".
Sad to say, but THE FANTASTICKS is no more. Thanks to all of you who left comments about the show. It's a real shame it had to close so soon, but that's the nature of the business. We don't go into this profession with our eyes closed to the power of the critics, but it's always a little shocking to be burnt this badly. Still, on the whole the cast came out unscathed and too right. This was a cast chock full of talent, and one I was so proud to be onstage with every night. I shall miss in particular trying to guess what would emerge from Edward Petherbridge's mouth each performance. What an extraordinary man and actor.
Onwards and upwards then friends. To the next one, whatever that may be...
So this is it then folks. Press Night is upon us, and we're raring to go. A longish preview period means we're all desperate to get the show up and running as normal. Broken legs to the entire team.
And thank you Carla, Christine, Heather and Carol for coming to the show and for your kind comments. Most appreciated. Keep spreading the gospel according to THE FANTASTICKS. Oh, and before I forget, photos from the show will be appearing on the site soon (courtesy of Roy Tan and Dan Tsantilis), so keep a look out...
It's been a long old week, but tremendously satisfying. Great responses from each and every performance, and the show is really beginning to settle down. A few tweaks and a bit of polishing still to do, but I think the entire company is thrilled with what has been achieved so far. Special mention to Ross Aldred, who took to the stage to cover the part of Matt last night (poor Luke Brady had to take a couple of shows off) with little or no time to prepare. Amazing job. Rumour has it the official show photos will be appearing on the show site soon - so keep your eyes peeled for those. Oh, and thanks to Carla for leaving the first comment here on the blog. Glad you enjoyed the show, Carla!
Rehearsals in full swing, and so far (just as we hoped) so good. Amon, our director, has a very special way of working and the company as a whole is jumping right in alongside him with no small amount of gusto. Good times. GREAT cast, so talented and full of life. I really do think this is going to be a special little show.
Here's a link
to our press launch coverage at ADAM STREET the other night. Exciting evening.