In October, at the request of Sir Cameron Mackintosh, he took on the lead role of Jean Valjean in the sold-out 25th anniversary concert performance of Les Miserables at the O2 Arena in London. He returns to the role in June and visits Liverpool on tour in December.
What can audiences expect from the show?
I’m going to perform music from the present album, "Bring Him Home". I am also working on a new album, although the official repertoire hasn’t been decided as of yet. So there will be a few surprises that people might not expect.
What are you most looking forward to on your tour?
The party at the end. *Laughs*. You know what, I am most looking forward to going around the country and playing to the nation. I am so appreciative to fans who have supported me and turned my life around. Without them, my career wouldn’t be what it is. Being able to invite people to guest star with me is also quite a pleasure and a joy.
Will there be any support act that we can expect to see on the tour?
I will be having a few guest artists when I perform at Southbank. Matt Lucas will be singing "Impossible Dream" with me and Kerry Ellis is going to do "Come What May" with me – and perhaps do a song of her own as well. There will be quite a few guest acts, but I am still waiting on availability from some. Southbank will be a good show!
The album this tour is based on has many adaptations of musical theatre songs – other than "Bring Him Home" (Les Miserables), which of the songs do you most enjoy performing?
Doing a duet of "Come What May" with Kerry Ellis was wonderful. I also enjoy "As If We Never Said Goodbye", as it’s such a powerful song. Although it is sung by a female, it can be adapted. "Hushaby Mountain" is another lovely song.
Your duet of "Come What May" with Kerry Ellis is just beautiful. Is there anybody else you would particularly like to duet with, and if so, why?
Oh my word, a lot of people! Females... I would like to sing with somebody quite contemporary and modern. Doing a duet with Paloma Faith would be very nice as she’s theatrical and just great. Males... I would really like to duet with Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs, as he’s strong and a good lad. Oh, and Tom Jones and Elton John. The list goes on.
Congratulations on gaining the sought for role of Jean Val Jean in the West End performance of Les Mis – when do you start and what are you hoping to bring to the role?
Thank you. The 23rd June is my first night. I want to bring honesty and sincerity to the role and continue to improve on what I did last year. It’s such a strong story, and I want to tell it as honestly as possible.
Who are your favourite actors within musical theatre and why?
I wouldn’t class myself as a musical theatre singer (or an opera singer), as it is limiting to a degree. But the musical genre has opened doors to other genres of music for me. Michael Ball is a great guy and a good friend, who is continually supportive to me. John Barrowman has done really well for himself, as have some Hollywood actors like Hugh Jackman. Although he’s known for playing heart throbs and action heroes, he is an incredible musical theatre performer. Kerry Ellis is a wonderful performer, as she shows in Oliver. Samantha Barks is a darling and a real superstar – one to watch out for in the future! And, of course, Norm Lewis, who played Javert in the O2 concert of Les Mis, is a dynamic gentleman and Broadway star.
Finally, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight has definitely been the O2 Arena performance of Les Mis – that was the biggest thing. I also loved the opportunity of being part of the Royal Variety performance. There’s been a lot of highlights and good times, and there are hopefully a lot more to come!
Alfie Boe was speaking to Rebecca Cohen.
Alfie Boe - Bring Him Home is at the Liverpool Philarmonic Hall on 14 December and he stars in Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre from 23 June.