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Glenn Carter, Matt Willis, David Thaxton and Lee Mead in The West End Men (photo: Poppy Carter)

Glenn Carter, Matt Willis, David Thaxton and Lee Mead in The West End Men (photo: Poppy Carter)

Q&A: The West End Men

Published 6 June 2013

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.

Carter: Home.

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!


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