Evans made his acting debut in 1978 in the film The Class of Miss McMichael alongside Glenda Jackson and is a founding member of the Black Theatre Co-operative. In 2006 he starred in the first British Black musical to hit the West End, The Big Life at the Apollo Theatre, and he has just finished a run of Talawa’s Rum and Coca Cola at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
The Harder They Come was in the West End at the Playhouse Theatre in 2008 following sell-out seasons at both the Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Barbican. The national tour starts in Nottingham on May 14th.
How does it feel to be reviving The Harder They Come?
It feels great to be involved once again in The Harder They Come's musical journey, it’s a real joy for me to be singing and hearing the classic tunes which are in the show. I also feel that due to the success of the show in its London , Toronto and Miami runs, it’s vitally important that people in England get a chance to enjoy the show. As we know there isn't a plethora of Black British musicals, so when we do have one which people enjoy its only correct that it should be toured in Britain.
Has the show changed much since its West End run?
Only minor changes have been made involving the length of the play.
For people who didn't see it first time round, could you give us a brief overview of the show?
The show is your classic, talented country boy goes to the city to seek his fame and fortune and is met by the many obstacles keeping him from achieving his dreams. He inadvertently becomes an outlaw and hero at the same time, which ultimately leads to his demise.
Tell us a bit about your character
I play the character of the Preacher who gives a job to Ivan the hero of the piece. The character believes himself to be righteous and godly whilst harboring desires for his ward Elsa.
What's your favourite number in the show?
"Stop that Train". Although it’s not sung, they play it as instrumental background music, but I am singing away in my head.
For more about The Harder They Come, click here