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Tell Us In 10: Tommy Franzen

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 2 November 2019, Last Updated 6 November 2019

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.

In a double bill this week, we’ve also got to know Tommy Franzen, currently performing in Zoo Nation’s Some Like It Hip Hop at the Peacock Theatre.

some like it hip hop

1. My route into theatre was…

Almost accidental! My sister was doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Sweden and it was the first musical I had even seen. I was 14 years old and I loved it so much that I had watched it about 15 times when suddenly someone had to drop out. I had also performed for the cast and production at the opening night party so they decided to give the role to me. Ironically I played Simon who are supposed to be the second oldest brother!

2. My West End idol is…

Tommy Körberg. He only played Chess in West End in 1986 but I absolutely adore his voice. It’s so unique, rich, adaptable and effortless. He’s an absolute legend in my opinion.

Tommy Körberg. Photo by Morgan Norman.Tommy Körberg. Photo by Morgan Norman.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

Calm and composed I think but also a hard worker striving for perfection. I also have a really silly funny side of me that runs alongside my serious one.

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

It must be Sylvia by ZooNation at Old Vic Theatre. It blew me away with the amazing music, singers and comedy amongst the tough struggles of Sylvia Pankhurst, her family and the suffragettes.

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

Getting a Olivier Awards nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. Especially as it was alongside dance legends Sylvie Guillem and Edward Watson!

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6. The hardest part about my role is…

The physicality I have to take my body through as Simeon Sun. 2 hours of pretty much non stop dancing, flipping and jumping but it’s all so worth it.

7. If I didn’t work in theatre I would be…

At one point I wanted to be a mechanic… I’m glad life didn’t steer me in that direction! I might’ve followed in my dad’s footsteps into filmmaking though.

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

After all the dancing, flipping, tricking, rock climbing, martial arts, snowboarding, motorbike riding and other adventures activities I do – I’ve never broken a single bone in my body. Touch wood!!!

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

Sounds a bit cheesy and over used but I’ve lived by Bruce Lee’s quote ‘Be Like Water’. Keep adapting to changes, be strong when needed or soft when required.

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

Be yourself and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.

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