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Saturday, 15 April 2023

INTERVIEW: Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, currently starring as Jack Kelly in NEWSIES! at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Michael is currently originating the role of Jack Kelly in the London production of Disney's Newsies. After training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Michael has since appeared as Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III RENT (Hope Mill Theatre); Paul Stephenson in To the Streets (China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome) Maugrim in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (UK/Ireland Tour).

The show is running until the 30th of July and whilst in the middle of a cast change, we caught up with Michael. 

You are currently playing Jack in the long-awaited and now Olivier winning production of Newsies. Thinking back to when you got the audition, how did you feel about potentially playing this part when you were going through that process? 

You’ll hear/see a lot of actors say they know when a part “works” or “feels right”. Right through auditions I felt like I could connect to the character and his beliefs and perspectives. Every time I read/sang for it, Jack grew a bit more in my mind. So honestly it was a fun experience to keep on going in and building on the previous round. I still remember Bronté and I’s chemistry read - we went for a coffee afterwards just to talk/debrief about it as we’d had such a good time! 

And please tell us about what happened when you got the part! 

I was walking to work to an evening show for Legally Blonde. So there I was, walking through serene Regents Park, yelling down the phone. It’s so lovely to think about those special moments you have with your agents when they bring in the good news. Then I had to just sit on the secret for months before they made the announcement. 

Friday, 9 December 2022

REVIEW: Disney's Newsies at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

The moment UK theatre fans have waited for, the London transfer of the hit Broadway musical Newsies! This much anticipated new production of the Disney 1992 film premiered on Broadway 10 years ago and after 10 long years of waiting, London audiences finally have a chance to experience this show in the flesh. 

Sold as an immersive and in-the-round production, I can't say it really does either. In the original press releases, it was stated that it would be performed in the round but it's actually in thrust with the majority of the audience sitting in the traditional proscenium arch layout. Immersive is a word that's thrown around a lot in modern theatre but I question if it's lost all meaning. There was an effort to create an immersive show, but within the performance, there were no immersive elements. Just because performers enter and exit through the audience, doesn't make something immersive. 
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