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Tell Us In 10: Jack Holden

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 30 April 2021, Last Updated 30 April 2021

In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions.

This week, we’re talking to Jack Holden, writer and lead star of Cruise playing at the Duchess Theatre from 18 May. Based on a true story Jack Holden was told whilst volunteering for Switchboard, the LGBTQ+ Listening Service, this new play pays tribute to a generation decimated by HIV and AIDs. Bringing to life 1980’s Soho, this kaleidoscopic musical is a celebration of queer culture with an uplifting 80s electronic soundtrack performed live by John Elliott.

Settle down as we find out more about Jack… and get ready for some laughs!

1. My route into theatre was…

School plays, then a careers officer who accidentally told me about Drama Schools. She quickly realised her mistake, then tried to stop me applying to them, but the cat was out of the bag. I applied to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and never looked back.

2. My West End idol is…

Sonia Friedman. Does she count? I hope she does. She’s amazing. She’s a force for good in the West End, taking risks on plays and musicals, and she truly, truly cares.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

The ladies in the Hair and Makeup department at the RSC call me Golden Holden. I think I’ve also become infamous for my ‘Rehearsal Room Frown’ – it looks like I disapprove of everything that’s going on, but actually it’s just me concentrating really hard. I hope people describe me as a hard worker. But not too hard. Not an uncool amount of hard work. The right amount.

4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in/work on) is…

Well, it’s been a while for obvious reasons. Some of my top recent musicals: Fiddler on the Roof, Half a Sixpence, 42nd Street. Some of my top recent plays: The Birthday Party, Harry Potter, People, Places, Things.

5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…

Announcing that CRUISE is going to be one of the shows reopening the West End recently took the top spot.

6. The hardest part about my role is…

Extended family members asking why I’m not on Eastenders/Holby/Hollyoaks/Game of Thrones/The Crown yet.

7. If I wasn’t a writer/actor I would be…

My original dream was to become a stuntman. One of the ones who set themselves on fire. That or a park ranger in a National Park.

8. Something people don’t know about me is…

I literally haven’t got a single hobby. Don’t understand them.

9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

Don’t read the reviews. Ever.

10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…

In the near future, there will be this thing called Coronavirus – it’ll first hit in late March 2020. Make sure you get out of the country, possibly to a Greek Island, and hunker down for a year. Seriously, it’s going to take a full year for any kind of normality to return, so just don’t bother. Take some good books, get a tan and turn off Twitter. Oh, and there will be this thing called Twitter, which is even worse than Coronavirus.


Tune into Theatre Chat Live on Tuesday 4 May at 6pm on Official London Theatre’s Instagram channel where we will be joined by Jack and John Elliot to talk all things Cruise and the excitement of returning to theatre! If you’d like to see Jack live on stage, grab your tickets below and celebrate shows returning #BackOnStage.

cruise duchess theatre Jack Holden

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While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.