The actor spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon about starring in Cafe Society Swing, playing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until 16 June 2018.
Hi Peter, thanks for talking to Love London Love Culture. What can audiences expect from Cafe Society Swing?
A great story told by some of the very best blues and jazz singers and players from both sides of the pond.
What did you first think when you read the script?
It took me straight back to the era with its perfect mix of Raymond Chandler-style (Philip Marlowe) drama and Damon Runyon style (Guys and Dolls) schtick. There’s comedy and tragedy – all mixed in with terrific 1940s blues and jazz.
Was there anything in particular that made you want to be involved with the production?
It’s a unique genre. It started life as a concert and then evolved into a narrated revue – this time it’s a piece of jazz theatre. If jazz theatre isn’t a familar form of entertainment yet – it will be soon!
Given there is a lot of jazz and blues music involved – have you been listening to jazz to help you get into the mindset of the show?
I’ve always listened to jazz. There is a trad jazz tradition in my family. My mother’s first cousin was the late great legend of British jazz, Monty Sunshine.
How would you describe the show to those thinking about coming along to see the production?
There’s nothing else like it. If you want the chance to see and hear a great show with timeless tunes that are played and sung by the best – come to Café Society Swing.