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L-R: Blair Gibson, Dalton Wood, Michael Pickering, Lewis Griffiths. (Image: Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff)

Tommy is a ‘colourful’ character – do you see any of yourself in him?

Well Tommy’s a showman in his own right, he’s very confident and… forthcoming, shall we say! There’s some of that in me – obviously, I’m a performer, I want to show off! But apart from that, we’re not hugely similar.

No gambling or gang associations for you, then?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of poker now and then! But Tommy was definitely more violent and cocky – he took things too far. That’s part of what makes it work though – it’s a true story, and gritty, it’s really engaging.

You’ve played Kenickie in Grease before – do you like playing the bad boy?

It’s a trait that seems to follow me now, and it’s definitely fun. Those characters are often a lot more interesting than the lead characters, who can be a bit wet – I prefer roles with more gritty backgrounds.

Image: Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

There’s a lot of guys on this tour. Are there many pranks offstage?

Last week somebody’s room got completely clingfilmed, which lead to another room being covered in tinfoil as payback. We have a lot of fun together, it’s great craic.

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What’s the best and worst thing about touring?

The best thing is seeing all the different theatres – I get bored stuck in one place. I love that we can bring the experience to people around the UK too, rather than everyone having to travel into London. The flip side of that is that you’re living out of a suitcase, and you don’t really feel settled. There are positives and negatives.

Image: Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

How do you spend your downtime when you’re not on stage?

Netflix, mostly! I do go to the gym when I can be bothered, but honestly just taking myself away from the show and chilling with a good TV series works for me.

Where are you looking forward to playing the most?

Bradford – it’s my home town. I think my mum’s spent over £1,000 on tickets for friends and family to come see me!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?

When I was part of Grease on Royal Caribbean, I had a really embarrassing moment when I was singing the intro to Greased Lightnin’ and the music just… didn’t come in! I was left on stage for ages waiting for the band to kick in. Because you can film on the ships, loads of people caught it on camera and it got shared around a LOT.

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Image: Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

What would you do if you couldn’t be a performer?

I’d have to be involved with the industry somehow – I couldn’t step too far from the stage. Over lockdown I taught singing online, so I think that would be a great thing to do.

Do you have a backstage rider?

I wish – no, not at all, we tend to just grab a meal deal from the nearest Tesco!

The costumes in the show are iconic. Are you tempted to take that style off-stage too, or would you rather never see a red jacket again?

I’ve never worn a suit so much in my life! I have some great costumes – I’ve got a burgundy tweed jacket in Act 2 that’s really nice, and a pink shirt in Act 1 that I love, but it’s definitely not me.

Image: Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

Watch Jersey Boys at MK Theatre, Milton Keynes 23 Feb – 5 March 2022

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