The Derbyshire-born actor will be performing at Sheffield’s Lyceum for the first time when the show heads into the city.
Ahead of his visit next week, the actor whose screen credits include Emmerdale, Dynasty and Grease II, took time out to answer the following questions:
Q. Which role are you playing?
A. Nathan Detroit’ the inveterate leader of the gambling street hoods - a fine role in itself - in this great classic American show.
Q. What do you like about the show and the character you play? A. The show straddles a gritty comic world that is both light and dark. But its beating heart is romantic love - both long standing and new found which prompts some of the most clever and memorable songs in the musical theatre pantheon.
Q. Why should people come along to see it? A This is a bang up production, expertly cast and superbly produced. I feel privileged to be a part of it. To have seen all or part of the movie version just ain’t good enough, you have to catch it live! It is doggone funny with a lot of celebrated toe- tapping tunes!
Q. How long will the tour keep you on the road for?
A. 20x weeks.
Q. What do you enjoy about touring?
A. You do get to play some of the finest theatres in the land which is a huge bonus.
Q. How has the show been received so far?
A. We have received standing ovations and much critical praise so the performers and especially the producers are well pleased. But we are constantly fine tuning our personal contributions to keep it fresh and ensuring that it is the best we can possibly make it for both those who know the show well and the folks discovering it for the first time.
Q. Are there any funny stories that you can share from this tour?
A. Not sure if my paymasters would approve but I have twice committed the cardinal sin of missing an entrance. It is a very hectic sequence that involves all of the guys spilling out of the Salvation Army Mission in a haphazard Keystone Cops fashion. Both times that I’ve suddenly realised I’m late I’ve arrived just in time to crash into the missionary dolls endeavouring to get back in! They’ll have to start docking my cheque. Very humbling.
Q. What are you looking forward to most about performing the show in Sheffield?
A. Always love an excuse to come to Yorkshire especially after my time on “Emmerdale”. But as for Sheffield specifically two words: Ponds Forge also it would be cool to catch some of the World Snooker Championships live at the celebrated Crucible.
Q. Which other touring shows will people in Sheffield have seen you in?
A. I have never performed in the city before but I’m excited to play the Lyceum with its fabled Sprague design. With all venues it is such a two-way experience for audience and actor alike.
Q. Of all your stage or television roles, which are you most proud of and why?
A. Two film roles which stand up pretty well: the murderous punk ‘Roy’ in the “The Boys Next Door” with Charlie Sheen and ‘Bob’ the vain glorious soap actor in “The Real Blonde” - I specialise in playing total douche bags don’t you know?
Q. What would be your dream role and why?
A. I’m obliged to tackle a significant Shakespearean role before I pack it in. Most every self respecting actor feels this way. So it would most likely be ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Coriolanus’ and again I’d better get on with it.
Q. How did you meet your wife, Juliet Mills? What was it like marrying into the famous Mills dynasty?
A. My wife Juliet and I met in 1980 on a production of “The Elephant Man” in New York and have appeared together on stage many times most recently in Australia in a tour of the comedy “Legends” with her sister Hayley We live north of Los Angeles and live a typically kicked back Californian lifestyle. We recognise that we are lucky but are not afraid of hard work either. Hence this tour.
Q. Where do you live these days - do you have more than one home? How would you describe your lifestyle?
A. We live north of Los Angeles and live a typically kicked back Californian lifestyle. We recognise that we are lucky but are not afraid of hard work either.
Q. I understand that you have a connection with Derbyshire and Chesterfield in particular?
A. Okay now this is taking too long and I’m due in the theatre.
Q. Do you still have relatives living in Derbyshire? If so, will you have the opportunity to catch up with them while in Sheffield?
A. My aunt and uncle Margaret and David Newby will be coming to see the show when we play Nottingham.
n Guys and Dolls runs at the Lyceum, Sheffield, from April 19 to 23, and at the Theatre Royal Nottingham from June 21 to June 25.
Tickets to the Sheffield performances start from £26, contact 0114 2789 789 or www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.
Tickets to the Nottingham performances start from £20, contact 0115 989 5555 or www.trch.co.uk