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My Top 5 Showtunes: Marc Antolin

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

Marc Antolin
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Marc Antolin's theatre credits include Singin' in the Rain, Matilda, From Here To Eternity and Romantics Anonymous.

He is about to open as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors which runs at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre until 15 September.

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

1. "Tonight Quintet" from West Side Story

I've already cheated with my first choice but I had to, otherwise my five songs would be from West Side Story. I've always been in love with 1950s American culture from watching Grease over and over as a kid, so when I first watched this movie I was in awe. The iconic choreography and the heart-wrenching score and retelling of Romeo and Juliet is so powerful. I had to pick the 'megamix' as it features most of the incredible melodies from this show.

2. "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar

Seriously, that guitar riff is so dirty and cool. I remember listening to this as we were doing it at school thinking 'I want to sing this song so bad'. I ended up playing Herod with gusto and wearing my drama teachers maternity trousers as my flares. I saw the recent revival of this at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and it blew my mind.

3. "Once We Were Kings" from Billy Elliot

I saw Billy Elliot first (of four times) in previews when I came to London flat hunting before starting drama college. The story is so powerful and the political times around it were tough, especially for the working class and coming from Port Talbot in South Wales this was all too close to home. I couldn't help but sob when the band dropped out and the sound of a male voice choir belted out that final chorus.

4. "When I Grow Up" from Matilda

Getting to be part of this show from its initial outing at the RSC in Stratford Upon Avon and then bringing it to London is one of my career highlights. The care and detail that was put into making it is astonishing. This song is so simple and nostalgic it makes you cry-laugh. The first preview when we did that swing over the audience in the Courtyard Theatre at the RSC was electric. I never got tired of rehearsing this every day in the safety 'swing check'.

5. "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I was OBSESSED with the original film (and chocolate) as a child. I hate to admit that I mostly always fast forwarded "Cheer Up Charlie" but knew all the words to every other song. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka is so incredible, he became a hero of mine. If you haven't listened to his Desert Island Discs then go and do that now, maybe after listening to this beautiful song.