Damian Buhagiar is reprising his role as Sonny in the final stint of In the Heights at King’s Cross Theatre. He first played the role in the UK premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multi award-winning musical, for which he himself won the My Theatre Mates’ Also Recognised Award for London Newcomer of the Year. His other credits to date include the UK tour of Jersey Boys (Joe Pesci and cover Frankie Valli) and Bugsy Malone at Lyric Hammersmith.
Can you remember when you first realised you wanted to perform? How did your career start?
I’m from Malta, I went to Stagecoach from the age of five. I took all my trinity exams and it was whilst I was doing my GCSEs that my singing teacher said why don’t you take it further and study abroad? Of course you need a lot of support and money to do it but I filmed an audition for Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and got accepted. Suddenly my life took a very different road, I was going into mechanical engineering before! I thought what should I do follow what I love? So I went to Tring and realised it brought out my personality and said this is who I am.
What shows have you enjoyed watching recently outside of the one’s you’re involved with?
I do have time on my day off on Wednesdays to see shows but the show is such high energy and energetic that I try and do something different and really chill. I live out in Windsor so it does take a little time to get in so I tend not to. The last show I saw was probably Jekyll and Hyde which Drew McOnie also choreographed and it blew me away. He’s so talented and we work so well together I hope to do more with him in the future.
What are your dreams and ambitions?
I’m auditioning for other shows at the moment and I believe that if its meant to be its meant to be. I did In The Heights when it was at Southwark and then Jersey Boys (Tour) and Bugsy Malone. Then I had nothing planned and they needed a Sonny again and it was perfect timing. It’s very much being in the right place at the right time in this business.
What sort of music do you like to listen to? What do you like to listen to?
I like R&B, stuff like Rhianna but it depends on my mood. I like anything really, I listened to Phil Collins the other day, so yes anything.
Is there a particular actor/actress that you would love to work with but haven’t yet had the opportunity?
Jeremy Jordan or Ramin Karimloo. I really respect both of them and think we would work well together.
Bonus questions – My Usual favourite three!
6) Who would you consider to be the most positive influence in the world today or to you personally and why?
I have a strong faith, I’m quite religious so I would say God. My inspiration is positively and about being the best person you can be. Be true to yourself.
7) If you could go back in time to any era when would it be and why?
I would go back to an era when men wore suits. It’s about education and respect and I feel it’s not only smart looking but it’s a cultural time when people respected one another.
8) If you could have a super power what would it be?
I’d like to be invisible to see what people say behind my back or to hear what people think.
That was a fascinating talk to Damian and many thanks for your time. Gosh to think we would have lost you to mechanical engineering if it weren’t for your singing teacher’s suggestion!
If you’d like to see Damian in the incredible In The Heights then you can book tickets using the links below or using my nifty booking link tab. But don’t delay because it leaves Kings Cross Theatre on the 8th January.