My Top 5 Showtunes: George Maguire
The actor tells us the musical numbers he couldn't live without
George Maguire's theatre credits include 20th Century Boy and Sunny Afternoon, for which he won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.
He is soon to star in the UK premiere of Another Night Before Christmas at the Bridge House Theatre from 28 November to 23 December
We caught up with George and asked him: "If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?"
1. "Halloween" from Rent
I loved Rent as soon as I first heard it and did a European tour of it some years ago. This is one of my favourite pieces in it. I've always been in to rock music and for me Rent really set the bar high for any rock musical that followed.
I was actually lucky enough to be at the opening night in London with the original Broadway cast. I was at Italia Conti theatre school at the time and it inspired me hugely. It was raw, rocky and real and I remember thinking "that's the kind of stuff I want to do."
2. "What is it About Her?" from The Wild Party
Not only do I think this show - based on a poem about prohibition, with book, lyrics, and music by Andrew Lippa - is great, but the performance of it by Brian d'Arcy James as Burrs is amazing. I used to listen to it on repeat, haha. I'd love to play that part one day. This song in particular shows the character's pain and paranoia over his love for Queenie perfectly and has a very cool three vocal part section. It would be great to see a version of this in London someday.
3. "Hair" from Hair
I love this show and I have long hair so couldn't agree more with this song. I played Berger who is an amazingly fun and free role to play. The show is about peace and is anti-war which I am all about and it is still so relevant today.
It's hard to pick a favourite from Hair as the music is just so great. I did the show in Germany and then a one-off charity gala for Help for Heroes, at the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End, which I was immensely proud of. You may not know but usually in Hair there Is a moment, lead by Berger, when the tribe all strip totally naked in a protest. Everyone was nervous about this at first, but I found it very liberating and only slightly embarrassing when friends were watching!
4. "She Meets Him/One Minute in a Lift" from LIFT
I have always been passionate about new writing and love the chance to originate a role. For me Craig Adams is one of the best musical theatre writers of our generation and I was in the premiere of Lift at the Soho Theatre. This is the opening number and it often pops into my head when I'm travelling around London. Lift is actually available to watch on Digital Theatre, check it out.
5. "Consider Yourself" from Oliver!
When I was ten years-old I was in Oliver! at the London Palladium and I guess that's where my professional career started. It's still the greatest theatrical experience of my life. Every Christmas the film was a favourite tradition in my family and still is. Everyone's got a little Artful Dodger in them and this song is about acceptance and togetherness. We need a bit more of that these days.