We were invited to the Park Theatre, which – if you haven’t been before is a lovely new theatre which opened in 2013 with the help of the wonderful Alan Rickman, Ian Mckellen and the rest of the theatre community. It houses up to 200 seats so you’re guaranteed to be up-close to all the action. Park supports ambitious, new and exciting projects and is currently home to The Buskers Opera starring George Maguire (Sunny Afternoon) and Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham) opening 28th April.
We caught up with George and were given a sneak peek of the cast in rehearsal which you can see in the video. Plus check out our interview with Lauren Samuels below.
The show is based on the classic story, The Beggars Opera, with a unique, modern twist and songs that we fell in love with by Dougal Irvine. All we can say is it’s going to be SO. MUCH. FUN. So don’t miss it when it opens, we have tickets from £15 for a limited time only.
What drew you to the role of Polly Peachum?
I’d actually studied The Threepenny Opera at college when I was 16, so I knew the character of Polly and what The Buskers Opera was loosely based on. Dougal Irvine our writer also asked me to be on his first album years ago now, and I’ve been a huge fan of his work every since. As soon as I saw his name above the title I said YUP that’s guna be awesome! No one writes quite like Dougal.
Can you describe The Buskers Opera in 3 words?
Topical. Funny. Fresh.
What’s your favourite scene from the show?
It’s hard to pick just one as they’re all so integral, but I enjoy performing Killers which is right near the start of the show and is sort of a “song to the mayor of London”. I’ll say no more!
What’s your favourite show of all time and why?
I’m not sure what my favourite is, I try to see a wide range of different shows but I’d say a couple that have really left me speechless were People, Places and Things and The Colour Purple.
You were just in Bend It Like Beckham, what was it like performing in the 5x Olivier nominated show?
Being in Bend It was a dream for me. I’ve always wanted to create a west end role and be on an original album so I feel incredibly thankful. Being in a brand new show is so rewarding. I felt incredibly proud to be a part of Bend It Like Beckham.
What is your funniest back-stage memory?
During my quick change as Scaramouche in We Will Rock You I would add extra special bits to my costume to amuse the cast. You know, a feather boa, perhaps some Elvis sunglasses…
What’s your next dream role?
I’d love to go over and do something on Broadway! One can dream…
Can you tell us about your earliest memory of seeing a theatre show?
The earliest thing I remember my mum taking me to see was a touring production of Grease in Birmingham. Which is funny because Sandy became my first west end role!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Always be prepared! I apply this to auditions…prepare prepare prepare!!
Have you ever seen a busker in London that has really grabbed your attention?
We have some amazing buskers in London! I’m always stopping to admire work on the underground or on the street. I enjoy acts that are a little different, like there’s a guy round London who dances a skeleton puppet while he sings and I FULLY appreciate that stuff man!
Why should people come to see The Buskers Opera?
There certainly isn’t anything quite like it! It’s a genuinely entertaining satire that confronts very relevant issues, oh and who doesn’t love Dougal’s music?!