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My Top 5 Showtunes: Darius Campbell

The actor tells us the musical numbers he couldn't live without

Darius Campbell at the launch of Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Darius Campbell rose to fame in the TV talent show Pop Idol in 2001. In 2005, at the age of 25, he became the youngest actor to play Billy Flynn in Chicago in the West End.

Further theatre credits include playing Sky Masterson in Michael Grandage's Olivier Award-winning production of Guys and Dolls, Rhett Butler in Trevor Nunn's Gone With The Wind, and Warden in Tim Rice's From Here to Eternity.

Last year he returned to the West End to star as Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl, a role he is currently reprising on the UK tour.

Click here to buy tickets to the tour of Funny Girl

We caught up with Darius and asked him: "If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?"

1. "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables

Still gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it. There's something beautifully haunting about the minor melody, and lyrics which hark of a lost childhood, and a world beyond the suffering of the innocent protagonists in one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

2. "On The Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady

Arguably Lerner and Lowe's greatest song, there is nothing sentimental about the sweeping romantic joy and whimsical glee that permeates every lyric and note of such a memorable classic. I love it, and when walking London streets in spring - when the trees blossom over cobbled streets - this song plays in my head on repeat! Check out the Nat King Cole version.

3. "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" from Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a modern genius, and this song is filled to the brim with emotion, sung by Eliza at the end of the show. By her death at the age of 97, she had spoken out against slavery, funded the Washington Monument, and founded the first private orphanage in New York. This song is worthy of her legacy.

4. "America" from West Side Story

The rich energy, Latin passion and unabashed vibrancy of this song make it irresistible, with razor-wit catchy lyrics and a rhythmical, staccato melody. Brass never sounded so good! It seems fitting that in this post-recession, Trump era of fake news and restrictions on Mexican and Muslim immigrants in America - that this song is as relevant today as it was when Sondheim and Bernstein first wrote it in 1957.

5. "Don't Rain On My Parade" from Funny Girl

This needs no introduction. I feel utterly spoiled as I've been lucky enough to watch this song performed by Barbra Streisand and my amazing friend and co-star on the West End, Sheridan Smith. On tour I will get to see the wonderful Natasha J Barnes sing this song night after night, it closes the show and I challenge anyone to have a dry eye as the lights black out on our leading lady... Ab. So. Lute classic.