Gary Wilmot has is a seasoned performer on stage and a well known television star. He made his stage musical debut in Me and My Girl in 1989. He has since starred in Half A Sixpence, Chicago, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Copacabana. He has also performed in the RSC and in the comedy hit Teething Troubles. He has returned to the this genre in Oscar Wilde's Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, starring alongside Lee Mead and Kate O'Mara. We caught up with him before he arrives in Manchester with this Bill Kenwright production.


 
How does your character fit into
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime?
I’d say he is the most pivotal character- he is a palm reader, and he is the one who predicts that Lord Savile is going to commit a murder.

Having comedy experience, you must be enjoying the wit of the play.
I am. It’s fantastic- like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde’s material is amazing to perform. It’s been adapted by Trevor Baxter, who has done a remarkable job. It’s so well done and very witty and funny as the story unfolds.

Both you and your co-star Lee Mead are most renowned for playing lead roles in big musical productions. How does it feel to drama?
It’s nothing new to me, as it’s not often that musicals come along. I’ve always enjoyed being in plays and talking on the stage. The Palace is a massive venue as well so hopefully we can create tons of atmosphere.

How are you finding working with Lee Mead?
Great! Everybody in the cast is lovely and good at their job. You pray when you go into the rehearsal room that you are going to be working alongside nice people!

If you could play any part, what would it be and why?
If the opportunity ever comes up, I would love to play the lead character in the musical ‘Little Me’. It is a part that has been played by Bruce Forsyth and one or two others.

Who have you been most influenced by over the years?
So many people, there isn’t just one person. I like to be original. I was influenced by the director of Me and My Girl.  I was extremely lucky to have such a great director and he really helped me through my musical theatre journey.

Finally, why should an audience come and watch Lord Arthur Savile's Crime?
It offers something different, it’s good value for money and an audience are guaranteed to sit down and be thoroughly entertained!



Gary Wilmot was speaking to Rebecca Cohen.

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime runs at the Palace Theatre from 8 - 13 March.