Monday, 7 November 2022

INTERVIEW: Joseph Peacock, currently playing Donny Osmond in The Osmonds - A New Musical on tour around the UK

Joseph Peacock is currently taking on the challenge of playing international superstar Donny Osmond in the new musical, The Osmonds. His other credits include Young Gideon in The Last Ship (US Tour), Bat Out Of Hell (London Coliseum, Dominion Theatre), Benjamin in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour), Pete in Burnt Part Boys (The Park Theatre), Grease, and West Side Story (The Factory Playhouse).

Aside from his busy touring schedule, he managed to find some time to tell us all about what life is like being an Osmond brother. 

You’re playing the icon that is Donny Osmond in the show, a man well-loved by many around the world. When you got the role, did you feel any pressure and how do you feel now you’re well into the run?

I’m so grateful to be playing Donny Osmond. There definitely was an initial pressure, because he is an icon. Not having lived through the time when the Osmonds were at their peak, I underestimated how much love the fans still have for them, it’s amazing. I just want to be able to live up to their expectations, and Donny set the bar pretty high!

There must be very different challenges that come with playing a real person, What kind of process did you go through to prepare for the role?

Research, research, research. It’s the only way you can get an accurate representation. I read Donny’s autobiography Life Is Just What You Make It, to get as much from his own words as possible. However, a real blessing for us was having Jay Osmond work so closely with us. He would answer any questions we had about his brothers, and he was so open with us that we could form a rounded vision of how we could portray them onstage without becoming an ‘impression’.

Are there any similarities between yourself and Donny that you may have not expected?

I think the main one that comes to mind is energy. When I get on stage I can be a bit like a pocket rocket and I can’t help myself. As I watched so many videos of the brothers performing it was clear that I could match the energy that Donny had in the group.

We’ve seen the show and I’ve got to say, the vocals are insane but also incredibly high! Each one of you are wonderful but the challenges of the show and touring must take its toll on you, how do you keep yourself healthy on tour?

Touring is hard. Especially the show schedule, doing 8 shows in 5 days. We try and care for ourselves the best we can. However, the team behind us really help with that. I have to mention our brilliant Dance Captain Aidan and our assistant Dance Captain Matt. They are two of the most hard-working people in our company, and whenever ANYONE needs anything from a Berroca to a massage they are there instantly! But the secret is to drink as much water as you possibly can.

And the reactions from the audience are insane for this show! Tell me about the wildest ones you’ve experienced so far.

The Osmonds fans definitely have not disappointed and it is a riot most days, which I have loved. There have been so many times fans have gone that extra mile but one that sticks in my head is when we got a rather large pair of red frilly knickers chucked on stage, which at first I thought was a banner of some kind, but it certainly wasn’t!

In your career, you’ve travelled a lot! From UK tours to the West End and even a US tour of The Last Ship. What’s been your favourite place you’ve been to?

My favourite place so far has to be San Francisco when we were there with The Last Ship. It felt like home to me, it was crazy. The roads, houses, the views were just ridiculous. It really broke my heart when COVID hit and we had to leave. But I believe I will be back there one day.

And you’ve been in another fan favourite, Bat Out Of Hell. How do the fans of that compare to the fans of The Osmonds?

Bat Out Of Hell fans were fantastic. However, nothing I have ever experienced in a musical or otherwise will come close to the Osmonds fans. We often get multiple standing ovations during a show! The other day we had 4, In my experience that doesn’t happen!

If you had to play any of the other Osmond brothers, which one would it be?

I think it would have to be Merrill. Ryan Anderson as Merrill is something I think everyone needs to witness, the man is a machine. I’ve never heard a voice like it. He gets to sing such bangers and I think I would like to have a go!

And do you have any plans for after the shows run?

My plans for after the show are currently to let my body heal and take a minute for myself!

And finally, in one sentence, why should people come and see The Osmonds?

Because who wouldn’t want to experience the Osmonds one more time?
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