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Brief Encounter With ... Hamlet! The Musical's Jack Shalloo

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British born and East End resident actor Jack Shalloo is to resume his lead role as the hapless Danish prince in Hamlet! The Musical - a critical acclaimed comedy romp co-produced with Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Royal & Derngate.

Following the success of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season of plays the musical, will run at Northampton’s Royal until Saturday 21 May before arriving at Richmond Theatre on Tuesday 24 May.

A previous production of the show during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival proved to be a hit leading Shalloo to receive critically acclaimed reviews across regional and national media and the production winning the prestigious Musical Theatre Matters award for Audience Favourite Musical. Jack took some time out of preparations to answer a few questions:

What attracted you to the role of Hamlet?

It's a real fun part and even though it’s a musical playing Hamlet, it’s really exciting considering what a famous story it is and the amazing people that have played the role previously. I read the script and heard the songs and thought “yeah this is me!”

What has been the process of creating the character?

It's been a lot of trying things and not being afraid of going for it. Ryan McBryde is a real fun director who lets you try all sorts of style, voice and physicality’s. To have your own input which feels valid and important is great. Hamlet as a character has a lot of songs that are directed to the audience so it's been a real journey finding the right balance for that.

What’s your favourite Shakespeare story?

My favourite is actually Twelfth Night, it's very funny! I’ve seen it quite a few times and loved the recent RSC production. I also really like A Midsummer Night’s Dream as it's a play I worked on at school and found a love for the great bard!

Tell us how you came into acting?

My mum saw that I had a lot of energy at a young age and needed attention (grins), so I went to a drama school at weekends. I had a real passion for making people laugh and telling stories. I started doing productions then I auditioned for Oliver! at the Palladium and the rest is history... I’ve never done anything else and don’t have a desire to.

You’ve currently released your debut album “London Soul”, what’s it like and have you always sung?

“London Soul” is an original soul folk album with very modern cheeky lyrics and a real live band feel... It has a lot of horns! If you were to compare it you probably say madness with a soul sound or Plan B without the rapping! It has the song “Picture Book” from Departure Lounge by Dougal Irvine and a song from Jonathan Eios album “New Beginnings”. It also features new singer/song writer Beth Morrissey. I’ve been singing for 15 years... Wow I'm getting old!

Which actor(s) do you most admire?

I'm a big Al Pacino and Robert De Niro fan but love people like Gary Oldman, Christian Bale, Paddy Constantine and Russell Tovey. It's easy to love the big American talents but us Brits are really taking over and it's very inspiring to see the young talents like Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan making moves out there.

Who would you invite to your dream theatrical dinner party?

I would have Adele because she's an amazing singer and looks like she knows how to have a laugh! Ray Winstone because he's the daddy! Megan Fox not for her conversation, Cee Lo Green so we can jam together and Jack Nicholson because he looks like fun!

Why should people come and see Hamlet! The Musical?

Mainly because it's fun and really entertaining!! It's very funny, it's for all ages and it re-tells a very famous story with some fabulous new music 6 brilliant actors. It's not what you'd expect but you won't be disappointed! If you like Shakespeare you will get some more of the gags and if you don't know any, you’ll still have a fantastic time!!

Hamlet! The Musical runs at Northampton & Derngate Theatre until 21st May and at Richmond Theatre from 24 May to 28 May 2011.

Jack Shalloo’s debut album “London Soul” will be available for purchase at their theatre’s foyers.


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