Tom is currently appearing as Kenicky in Grease touring the country. I caught up with Tom and we chatted previous roles, what he enjoys in this show and touring life.
What’s been your favourite role to date?
I think Jersey Boys because it was my first West End role. Going into such a well-written musical was a real gift. So for that for some reason and I covered Bob Gaudio so going on for him was really nice. But I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve done. I’ve done Godspell and played the role of Jesus and it was nice to play such a big part. So I’d say Jersey Boys and Godspell.
What would be your aspirational role?
I’d like to tick off Les Mis, I did it in College. I played Enjolras so I’d like to play it professionally. It’s such a powerful show so yes I’d like to Enjolras. I’d also like to play Fiyero in Wicked. Because it would suit my casting and add to what I’ve already done. I think my aim is to continue to do good theatre that I’m proud of.
Do you like to be stretched? Has this role been a change for you?
Yeah I do, this role has lot more dance in it. My main piece of dancing is in the Jive which could be daunting at first but it’s been one of the things that has made this role so enjoyable.
What’s your favourite number in Grease?
It is Grease Lightening it’s definitely my favourite to do. But my favourite song is Grease Is The Word at the start. I loved Frankie Valli singing it in the original film – Caroline I can see a theme starting to run here Frankie Vallie, Jersey Boys. Tom oh yes there is definitely Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli the 50’s and 60’s I love the era.
Do you remember the pivotal point when you decided this is what you wanted to do?
I do really remember watching John Travolta in the film and thinking he was so cool and I want to do that. The first professional show I saw was Fame in the West End and that inspired me to go into Musical Theatre at sixth form. I wanted to learn how to sing, dance and stuff. But John Travolta in Grease started it and influenced me.
You sing and dance have you a preference for either?
I do prefer singing and acting. But when I know a dance I do really enjoy that? I enjoy putting all three together as you do in Musical Theatre.
Would you ever think of doing a straight play?
Definitely I’ve done A Midsummer Nights Dream so yes I’d like to do a play. I trained as an actor so yes I’d definitely want to do that. I’ve done some television and film and that’s been good but I get more of a buzz from live theatre. The reaction is instant. But if you are my age and you want to start to think about buying a house, television or regular roles are a pull for solid work, very tempting. Live theatre will always be what I enjoy most, I think, but I’m open.
Many performers I’ve spoken to enjoy the rehearsal process the most, what would you say you enjoy most?
Not really, I enjoy it when I’ve been doing a role for a bit and I know it and can relax, try different things because I’m comfortable? We’ve got a really great cast but things can go wrong, people drop lines, props don’t work but it’s fine because they’re so great, we have so much fun. I think that when you’ve been playing the same role or touring you get to know people so well and you can really enjoy it.
If you could go back in time when wouldn’t you go back to and why?
I’d like to go back to the 50’s and see Elvis and I’d like to stay until the end of the 60’s for The Beatles. Actually I think I’d like to stay on for 70’s as well through to 1979. I’d like to hear some of the psychedelic music? Stuff like Hair – which is one of the best things I’ve ever seen!
If you could have a super power or be a super hero what or who would you be and why?
I would like to be able to fly, be invisible and be all chrome like the Silver Surfer.
You are hosting a dinner party which three guests dead or alive would you invite?
Mark Rylance, Rowan Atkinson and Eckhart Tolle. I think we’d have some really nice chats. Caroline what would your theme be? It would be on the topic of life.
Thanks for your time Tom.