I caught up with Toby Miles who is about to make his West End debut in the long-running musical Les Misérables. We talked about his dreams, how it felt to be joining such an iconic musical, and his journey so far.
Tell me and my audience a brief idea of your journey so far?
I’ve only just finished Arts Ed now, well literally a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been at Arts Ed for three years and then this happened which is unbelievably lucky. It truly is a dream come true. I wasn’t expecting anything at all straight out of drama school, let alone a lead in arguably the biggest show in the world, it is completely unexpected. I don’t think it has quite hit me. I guess it’s going to be opening night when it becomes real. It’s then I expect I’ll be able to comprehend what’s happening – yeah it’s ridiculous.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided this is what you wanted to do?
I guess so, when I was younger I was always quite musical, I learnt to read off karaoke. Playing instruments from an early age, my family were always encouraging us to be creative and do whatever we wanted to do. I play the piano, saxophone, clarinet, guitar and bass, oh and a bit of percussion if I need to. We’ve always been encouraged by our parents to do whatever makes us happy. Not to say that the academic stuff isn’t important, my sister is a doctor, another a social worker, but we all had that freedom to do what makes us happy.
This lead me to do amdram and actually the first show I did was Les Misérables. I think I would have been about nine. Yes, it was the first show I ever did, it was the first show I ever saw, the first show I saw in town. It was the first date my parents ever went on.
If you could only listen to one show tune ever what would you listen to?
Does it have to be one song or can I have an album? I don’t want to sound clichéd but having rediscovered it going into this process it’d have to be Les Misérables. It’s how it sounds, how it makes you feel. I think its unbelievable writing, I mean the music does so much of the work for us as actors. Trusting in that as the work, it’s so expertly written.
Excluding Les Mis – What’s your favourite musical?
I’m a big fan of new writing so whenever something is new on – I want to see that. So that’s always exciting for me. I like anything complex so stuff like Parade, which I think again is so well written. But then again I also like the new American stuff like Hamilton, or Dear Evan Hansen.
Who would you most like to work with and haven’t as yet had the chance to do so? And What Role do you aspire to in years to come?
Going into the final round of this process, my agent who knows Killian Donnelly, set it up for me to meet with him. It was in between two shows and me and Killian went and grabbed some food and chatted. I saw him perform recently, he’s just an unbelievable performer, his voice is just ridiculous and he’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He’s absolutely lovely and I think with the success of his career and the crazy things he has done and the crazy journey he has had, the fact that he is such a normal guy. The fact that he takes his one break out of a crazy two show day to come and meet this new young performer to give him some wisdom is just the most ridiculous thing.
So I think Killian for his most amazing performance skills and the fact he is still so nice, is something I respect on both levels.
My friend is playing Elder Price in Book of Mormon at the moment and I think that is a vocally demanding role and I think it would be a most insane challenge for me.
A few fun questions I always ask?
If you could go back in time to any period in history when would you go back to and why?
Probably the 1920’s for the style and fashion. It seemed really a cool period
What super power would you choose to have if you could?
I’d like to be Deadpool because he is, well obviously Ryan Reynolds is hilarious and I like people who don’t take themselves too seriously.
If you could invite 3 dinner guests dead or alive who would you invite and what would your theme be?
Ooh probably Elvis – I grew up listening to Elvis a lot, Lin-Manuel Miranda because I’d love to get inside that brain.
And the third is Marilyn Monroe purely due to her massive influence in the 1950’s and beyond. The theme would be a classic Murder Mystery as I love having a laugh and I’ve never attended one before and they seem a lot of fun.
All that remains for me to say is thank you for your time and for being so much fun to interview, at the start of what’s sure to be a massive career for you.
Toby goes into Les Misérables from 11th June so please do support him, booking details are below.
Tickets for “LES MISÉRABLES” are priced £15 – £80
Currently booking until March 2019
Box Office: 0844 482 5160
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees – Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm
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