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20 Questions with... Damian Humbley

Musical theatre star Damian Humbley is currently playing Dickens in ''Dickens Abridged'' at the Arts Theatre, which runs until 5 January. His previous theatre credits include ''Merrily We Roll Along'', ''Company'' and ''Lend Me A Tenor''

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Damian Humbley in Dickens Abridged
© Hydar Dewachi

1. Where and when were you born?
I was born in Innisfail (North Queensland) Australia, on February 13th 1979AD.

2. What made you want to become an actor?
My mum. She would take me to theatre all the time when I was a kid.

3. If you hadn't become an actor, what might you have done professionally?
A wizard, or an astronaut. But I have shakey eyes, so I wasn't allowed to be an astronaut, and wizards aren't real, soooo an actor it was.

4. First big break?
It was year level six, and thanks to my pop, I won the award for best, and most well designed model rocket ship (it had travelled the fastest and furthest). I was very proud that day, then I learnt about the shakey eye thing.

5. Career highlights to date?
The Last 5 Years, Lend Me A Tenor, Merrily We Roll Along.

6. Any regrets?
I should've moisturised more.

7. What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
The Australian production of The Secret Garden.

8. And the last?
The National Theatre's production of Strange Interlude.

9. Who are your acting idols?
I don't really have any, there's a lot of people whose work I respect, but you can only really be as good as the material and team you're working with.

10. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Trust that you're enough.

11. Why did you want to get involved in Dickens Abridged?
The people, I've always been attracted to work when it's with good peeps.

12. How have you prepared for the role of Dickens?
I've grown a very cool beard.

13. Do you have a preference between musicals and comedy?
No. I enjoy a good song just as much as people laughing.

14. Any rehearsal room mishaps?
I have never laughed so much or so hard in a rehearsal room before. There's a lot of crazy in that room, so picking one moment is impossible.

15. What do you hope people take away from the show?
Honestly, my hope is people have a good time, and pick up a little bit of Dickens along the way.

16. What's your favourite post-show hang out?
If I hang around, it generally tends to be a pub somewhere near the theatre.

17. Merrily We Roll Along is being shown as part of Digital Theatre's West End Theatre Season all round the world. What's it like seeing yourself on the big screen?
It's like watching yourself have sex, you remember at the time it was really good, but all you can see is how ugly your bits are.

18. How do you unwind?
I can't tell you as this is a G rated interview.

19. If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
No-one. I'm having fun being me at the moment.

20. What's next?
Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together at St James Theatre in January 2014.

Dickens Abridged runs at the Arts Theatre until 5 January 2014