Wednesday, 17 January 2018

INTERVIEW: Ian Carlyle, currently playing Four Eyed Moe in Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre

Ian is currently playing Four Eyed Moe in Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre, his other credits include Showboat (Sheffield Crucible), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK National Arena Tour), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), Porgy and Bess (Savoy Theatre), Miss Saigon (UK Tour) and Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum). He took some time out of his 8 show week and answered some questions for us... 

For someone who might not know, tell us a little bit about Five Guys Named Moe? 

Five Guys Named Moe is about a guy, Nomax, who has hit rock bottom in his life.... he drinks to much, he’s bad tempered, he doesn’t look after himself, and takes everything and everyone around him for granted, especially his long suffering girlfriend Lorraine. As a result, Five Guys pop out of nowhere, and through a series of life lessons, show him the error of his ways and help him to find his way back onto the right path. 

Did you know about the show before auditioning? 

Yes. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this show and I am very lucky and honoured to finally be a part of this major revival after 25 years.

What was the audition process like? 

It was very intense, and also a lot of fun. And a lot of care was made in putting together combinations of 6 guys to find the right balance, camaraderie, and brotherhood that is central to the make up of the Moes and Nomax.

Why should people come and see Five Guys Named Moe? 

It’s a great party, with the phenomenal Jazz, Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll music of
Louis Jordan, incredible staging and amazing singing and dancing. But more importantly with a powerful, positive, ageless message. Plus!.... Where else would you get to Conga across the stage? 

How has it been to revive this show in a purpose-built venue? 

It’s been an amazing experience. It’s been like watching a favourite niece or nephew grow up before your eyes, you get so proud watching their development. It’s an amazing space. 

And to have the show develop and grow right alongside it was and still is a incomparable experience. 

You’ve previously appeared in so many different types of theatre; in the West End, on tour, internationally and now in a purpose-built venue. What’s been your favourites theatres to play? 

That’s a very difficult question to answer, cause I truly believe that each theatre has its own unique and distinct character or soul if you like. Some are old souls, some are new souls, and they have all been great for different reasons, I find it very difficult to single one out. 

You are co-creator of the West End Gospel choir, tell us how that came about and what’s next for that? 

In the early days of the choir yes I was. Sadly I am not involved with the choir any more. But it came about from a gap my good friend Nathaniel Morrison saw in the west-end and that was a way for performers in faith and performers who are passionate about gospel music to come together and share that faith and passion. So we got a few friends together and started the West End Gospel choir with our other good friend Lisa Olsworth-Peter and with the kind patronage of St. Saviours church. And they are still going from strength to strength thanks to Nathaniel’s amazing leadership. 

We have to talk about We Will Rock You, you spent quite a few years with the production. Was it sad to see it close in London? 

Definitely. But you know you can never keep a good show down for long. 

If they were to revive the show in London, who do you think should be cast? 

That is another very difficult one. It’s very difficult to chose between your incredible friends. I’ve shared the We Will Rock You stage with so many brilliant actors and actresses. All I could say is that I’d have to be involved somewhere.... anywhere. 

Could you tell us an embarrassing on stage story? 

Well there was one time that come immediately to mind is when in one of my numbers I have to sing for three female members of the audience who come up on stage. But before I start the number I interview the Ladies. Well this one lady proved to be a challenge.... she kept interjecting while I was interviewing the other ladies and eventually when I got to her she proceeded to tell us about her many husbands and the fact she was there with a new one, she also tried to wrestle the microphone from me, and then it got a bit let’s say risqué, so I had to quickly move on with the rest of the number. 

If you were to return to any show you’ve done previously, which one would it be and why? 

Wow. Another difficult one. I suppose that would be Porgy and Bess. Simply because the show, which was directed by Sir Trevor Nunn was phenomenal. To be involved in a Gershwin Musical was incredible. The music was incredible, the story truly brilliant. And it tells of a community of individuals that goes through a lot of bad times and adversity but manages somehow to stick together in Love and friendship. Absolutely mind blowing theatre. 

If you could play any part in any show, what would it be? 

Judas in JCS, Lola in Kinky Boots, Papa Ge in Once On This Island, George Washington in Hamilton, Curtis or Jimmy in Dreamgirls. You should know me by now...... Can’t choose! 

We’re celebrating 5 years of our website in January, so to celebrate this we’re asking people what theatre means to you? 

Theatre is quite simply my life, it’s my love. It’s how I make my living, it’s how I escape. Its my passion and my power. It is everything to me.

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