Wednesday, 28 July 2021

COMING HOME: Adam Bailey, soon to star in the West End production of Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back!

Even though the theatre world has a long way to go until we’re fully back, there are so many exciting things happening which we mustn’t forget about, long-running West End favourites reopening their doors along with new pieces of theatre and even revivals. Jersey Boys being one of them. Last seen in the West End in 2017, this much-loved show returns, playing in the newly refurbished Trafalgar Theatre. 

Adam Bailey, last seen in the West End production of The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre (where our shoot took place), will play the role of Bob Gaudio in the shows return to London. Before the pandemic hit, Adam was a Swing and first cover Elder Price in the West End musical. The Book of Mormon was Adams West End debut, which was a long time coming! His CV is extensive and we were surprised the West End hadn’t snapped him up sooner! Prior to appearing in the Book of Mormon, he had played Morgan in the UK tour of the Dusty Springfield Musical ‘Dusty’, played Munkustrap in the South Korean tour of Cats and played the lead role of Adam/Felicia in the UK tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. His long CV also includes Starlight Express, Chicago, Bare, Grease, Taboo, Jest End and Edges. 

Adam was actually due to head back out on tour with Cats again, however this, unfortunately, got cancelled and left many without jobs, Adam being one of them. But everything happens for a reason and that reason for Adam was that his first West End lead credit was just around the corner. Adam has played so many wonderful parts that it was about time he landed a lead in the heart of theatreland. We spoke to Adam about what he’s most looking forward to upon returning to performing and his reply was “The feeling I get when someone performing opposite me gives me those tingles all up the back of my neck.” An answer we didn’t expect, but we know exactly what he’s talking about. 

Talking to Adam about what kind of effects the pandemic has had on him, he twists this into a positive and we loved his way of thinking. As someone who has worked very consistently since graduating from drama school, he has managed to make his way without a “muggle job” for a few years now, until the lockdowns. He took to working as a teaching assistant in two special needs schools as well as being a zoom operator, a teacher for children in performing art schools and pretty much any freelance work he could squeeze in-between. “When I wasn’t being supported like I saw so many others were, it made me feel worthless. But as the pandemic stretched on it actually totally flipped around and really made me realize my worth. We literally had to fight to keep afloat and it showed us all what total badasses we are.” 

Adam shared a little bit of advice he thought might be useful to people, "Do more of what makes your soul happy. Life is really bloody short and you are in control of your own happiness.” He is absolutely right, if we have learnt anything from this past year it's that our happiness is incredibly important and to maintain a healthy mind, that has to come first. 

We spoke with Adam about inclusivity in the industry or lack of it. “After this ordeal, we won’t take it lying down anymore”, and he couldn’t be more right. What has been so great to see is people taking a stand across social media and not being afraid to call out injustices when needed. We can’t make a change if we don’t stand up, “I hope it’s shown everyone how strong we are and that, if we can survive this past year, we can achieve so much more and fight for the long overdue changes. So let’s start with inclusivity. Let’s keep having the difficult conversations and even the playing fields because if this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we are all EQUAL and when the world stopped it stopped for all of us.” 

Aside from the struggles we are still going through to get theatre back up on its feet, let's not forget about the exciting openings and reopens of shows happening! Speaking to Adam about what he’d like to see, he tells us he would actually love to see something he knows really well, “something I know inside out, with a stirring Overture that would make all of the hairs on my arms stand up in the first few bars.” 

Jersey Boys opens at the Trafalgar Theatre on the 28th July 2021, we cannot wait to see the return of this fantastic show and especially cannot wait to see Adam and his incredibly talented castmates tell this story. 

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