What do you get if you mix a TV show winner, a former pop star, a regular Jesus and an Olivier Award winner? The West End Men.
The Any Dream Will Do victor Lee Mead, ex-Busted front man Matt Willis, Jesus Christ Superstar and Jersey Boys leading man Glenn Carter, and Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Award winner David Thaxton can all be found on stage at the Vaudeville theatre entertaining audiences with a staged concert mixing musical theatre classics with a handful of pop treats.
To mark the evening of tunes and banter’s one month long London engagement, we quizzed a trio of its current stars – Carter is replaced by Bombay Dreams’ Stephen Rahman-Hughes from 10 June – to learn more about the show and their own West End experiences.
What does West End theatre mean to you?
Willis: West End theatre means so much to me. I get to earn money doing something I truly love.
Carter: Food, clothing and a roof over my head for 25 years!
Mead: The best theatre in the world! We’re fortunate to have a city with such diverse arts. Everything from Shakespeare to Shrek!
What was your first experience of West End theatre?
Willis: In 1998 I saw Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma! I knew then it was what I wanted to do.
Carter: Experiencing front of house at Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria. Then I stood on stage in Chess at the Prince Edward theatre.
Mead: One of my earliest memories was watching Grease.
West End Men aside, what is the highlight of your West End career so far?
Willis: I really enjoyed working at Wicked. Great show and great cast.
Carter: Although it’s not officially West End, I’d say The Exonerated [which was staged at the Charing Cross theatre in 2011] as it addresses local injustices in the American judicial system.
Mead: Probably has to be Joseph [And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat] when we were playing at the Adelphi as that was the role that changed my career.
Which other West End leading man would you most like to perform alongside?
Willis: David Thaxton… you see dreams do come true.
Carter: Stephen Rahman-Hughes.
Mead: Hadley Fraser.
What is your favourite post-show West End haunt?
Willis: I like Sophie’s Steak house but I go home 99% of the time.
Mead: Rules Restaurant.
Tell us something we might not know about one of your co-stars…
Willis: David is in an incredible rock band called Unborn Twin. I cannot stop listening to them.
Carter: There is probably a reason why you don’t know it!
Mead: David ‘Thaxo’ Thaxton is quite possibly one of the funniest guys I’ve worked with.
What can audiences expect from the show?
Willis: A celebration of the West End in the West End with a few surprises thrown in.
Carter: I think it’s safe to say they will be entertained, in a fun and sexy way (apparently). Certainly we give an eclectic mix of theatre and some pop songs.
Mead: A great mix of songs from the musicals along with a few surprises. It’s a fun evening out!