Jonathan Andrew Hume played the lead role of Simba in The Lion King and now stars in the Rose Theatre’s production of Alice in Hinterland, alongside the Rose Youth Company. Jonathan spoke to Rewrite This Story about the show and all things Christmas.
What have some of your career highlights been?
I have been blessed with some great career opportunities. Two of my career highlights have been playing the lead role of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King in the West End, and also working with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Rob Marshall in the upcoming movie Mary Poppins Returns.
What attracted you to this production of Alice in Winterland?
Our director Ciaran McConville has written a great take on Alice’s adventure. After reading excerpts of Ciaran’s script adaptation for my audition, and hearing Eamonn O’Dwyer’s great song the Blue Caterpillar sings, I knew this was going to be a fun project to work on, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
What can we expect from the show?
You can expect a brand new and exciting adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s iconic story. A thrilling and sometimes mad adventure into Wonderland, taking you on a journey of Alice’s self-discovery and with the help of her new-found friends, realisation of what strength and power lies inside her.
You play the Caterpillar/Knave, what’s the funnest part about playing these roles?
Playing the extravagance and edgy lethargies of the Blue Caterpillar are the most fun. He’s such a great character to play. However, quite frankly, playing the Knave is also fun because I play a villain! I’ve always wanted to play one of the bad guys, and there is a certain satisfaction in getting “booed” by the audience at the end. You definitely know you’ve done your job properly… or at least I hope that’s what they’re “booing” for!!!
Who in the show do you think is most like their character?
I think our four talented young actresses sharing the role of Alice (Ellie Clark, Madeline Lynes, Gaia Mondadori and Hannah Wilkinson) have become most like their characters. All four of them are living the role each night they go on, and they do it with ease. Seeing them grow as actresses through this rehearsal process has been a privilege to watch. Their acting choices are natural and personal, and they make Alice so relatable that you cannot help but feel with her, the love, anguish, pain and joy she goes through before your eyes.
When it’s ‘Time for Tea’, what’s your biscuit of choice?
Oooh, that’s a hard one! I’d probably have to say it’s a tie between an Oatmeal and Raisin Cookie and an Oreo.
On a scale of 1-10 how much of a Christmas lover are you?
Probably a ‘9’. I love spending time with family, gift giving, singing carols and getting into the spirit of Christmas. I take away one point because as beautiful as winter can be, especially when snowing, I’m not the biggest fan of the cold!
If you could spend Christmas with anyone dead or alive (other than your family), who would you choose?
Wow! Another hard question. I think I would actually like to spend Christmas with the Hatter from the show, because it would definitely be the craziest, funniest (and messiest) Christmas dinners ever!
Give us your best sales pitch as to why people should come and see Alice in Winterland!
Alice in Winterland is an extraordinary Christmas show which people both young and old will enjoy. Be ready to be taken on an adventure into Wonderland that is like no other. With enchanting scenery and costumes, extraordinary puppetry and memorable songs, all put together by an amazingly talented creative team and performed by a brilliant cast!
A huge thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to do this interview. Alice in Winterland runs at the Rose Theatre until January 7th.
photo credit: Mark Douet