Tuesday, 16 July 2019

INTERVIEW: Louis Gaunt, currently starring in the new UK tour of Grease the Musical

Louis Gaunt is current playing the role of Kenickie in the new touring production of Grease the Musical. His other credits include Manfred in Sweet Charity at the Nottingham Playhouse, Standing At The Sky's Edge at the Sheffield Crucible and playing Will Parker in Oklahoma! at the Grange Park Opera which he won the 2018 The Stage Debut Award for Best Actor In A Musical. We caught up with Louis whilst in rehearsals for Grease before he heads out on tour. 

Tell us what we can look forward to in this new production of Grease. 

Audiences can look forward to a vibrant & youthful performance of a production that pays homage to the truth of the subjects and matters tackled in Grease and the 1950s era. 

What is it like to be part of a brand new production of Grease, the first of its kind to tour the UK?

Very privileged to be part of such a magical piece of theatre, that audiences from all over the UK will be able to see a little bit of themselves in the show. 

Grease is obviously one of the most well known musicals in the world, but tell us a bit about your exposure with the show prior to getting cast in it. 

I had only ever seen the film version of Grease the Musical, so when I was able to get my hands on the script for this production, my mind was opened entirely to what Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey we’re portraying. There are so many finer details in the musical that are kind of washed over in the film. 

You won The Stage Debut Award for Best Actor in 2018 for Oklahoma!, a musical a little bit different to Grease! But still both classics nonetheless. What’s it like to go from shows that are so different in style? 

Having the opportunity to move between two very different shows -let alone eras- is very rewarding! As it allows me to immerse myself into a world and life I’ve never been in, or belonged to. 

And how is it to now have ‘Award Winning Actor’ on your CV? 

I’m very grateful to have that on my CV, and it is nice to reflect and remind myself of how far I have come.

Is there a venue you’re most looking to on this tour?

I’m looking forward to Dublin especially, as I have never been to Ireland before. Also I have saved my first ever pint of Guinness for my first visit to Dublin. 

There have been many actors who have portrayed Kenickie, where have you drawn inspiration for the role?

I tried to find all my inspiration from historical facts of the era, and immerse myself in the world of the 1950s, but also to know the text inside out. I personally, avoided taking inspiration from other actors playing Kenickie, as I was keen to discover with Nikolai and Arlene exactly who Kenickie is to me. 

The score is so well known, what is your favourite in the show?

My favourite song from the show is Grease.

If you had to switch places with anyone in the company and play their role for one night, which one would you chose? 

I’d love to play Sandy for one night. She is the only character amongst the teenagers to have strength and faith in who they are, which is very empowering and exciting to see.

In one sentence, tell us why people should come see this production of Grease? 

It’s a show audiences will adore, as they find a bit of themselves in each character. Through a piece of theatre that is real, raw and somewhat enlightening. 
Blog Design by pipdig