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Tell Us In 10: Jay McGuiness

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 2 October 2019, Last Updated 11 October 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. This week we chat to boy-band star turned West End performer Jay McGuiness about all things on and off the West End!

 

1. My route into theatre was…

Long and winding! After training at MADD college Nottingham my life went immediately into singing and music, only after the band [Jay was a member of The Wanted until 2014] finished (and a few years off) did the world of Strictly Come Dancing funnel me back towards stage productions.

The cast of Rip It Up - The 60s at the Garrick Theatre (Photo: Fiona Whyte/The TBC Group)Jay McGuiness in his West End debut in Rip It Up – The 60s earlier this year

 

2. My West End idol is…

Matthew Kelly, forgive me for keeping it in our circle, but his love for this (theatre) world and the way he approaches life in general are special.

Jay McGuiness interview: Jay McGuiness and Matthew Kelly in Big The Musical. Photo by Alastair MuirJay McGuiness and Matthew Kelly in Big The Musical. Photo by Alastair Muir

 

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

A bit of a Prankster ! but in a loving way of course.

 

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

Spring Awakening/Book of Mormon. Both are about young people struggling with their belief systems. But one is wet-yourself funny and the other is …not.

The cast of The Book Of Mormon London, now playing at the Prince Of Wales Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)The cast of The Book Of Mormon London. Photo by Johan Persson

 

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

I have a growing suspicion it is Big The Musical.

 

6. The hardest part about my role is…

…not corpsing once Kimberley goes. She is so good at hiding it on her face, but when I see her shoulders shaking you wouldn’t believe the work I’m doing to keep it from bubbling up. We hate to show it, we really want to transport our audience to another place.

Jay McGuiness interview: Jay McGuiness as Josh Baskin, Kimberley Walsh as Susan Lawrence. Photo by Alastair MuirJay McGuiness as Josh Baskin, Kimberley Walsh as Susan Lawrence. Photo by Alastair Muir

 

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

A gardener. Actually taking offers.

 

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

I am chronically bad at accounting, my lovely accountants resigned this year and I don’t blame them. I think I need a hypnotist or something.

 

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

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is… fake laugh if you’re leaving a party tipsy. You’re less likely to take a bad picture. (Thanks Kimberley)

Jay McGuiness interview: Jay and Kimberly at the Big galaJay and Kimberly at the Big gala

 

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

You’re only going to get better at maths if you keep at it. (I didn’t)

 

You can catch Jay in Big The Musical, currently playing at the Dominion Theatre until 2 November. Get your tickets below!

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big the musical dominion theatre interview jay mcguiness Kimberley Walsh Matthew Kelly rip it up - the 60s Tell us in 10

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