How stagey are you? Michael Watson vs Tim Driesen

The two Frankie Vallis face-off against each other in our latest theatrical battle

Michael Watson

Michael's West End credits include the original casts of Imagine This (New London Theatre), Sister Act (London Palladium) and Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

He is currently playing Frankie Valli in the West End cast of Jersey Boys.

Tim Driesen

Tim's West End credits include Rock of Ages (Shaftesbury Theatre), Never Forget (Savoy Theatre and UK tour), Rent in Concert (Garrick Theatre), Bat Boy (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre).

He is currently playing Frankie Valli on the UK tour of Jersey Boys.

What was the last show you went to see?

It was Beautiful. It's really good. My friend Ian [McIntosh] is in it; I thought he was fantastic, as is Katie Brayben. 1

It was Gypsy actually. I've seen Patti LuPone in it, which is probably even stagier, so I had high expectations but Imelda was very good. 1

How many showtunes do you have on your phone/iPod?

On my phone I've got the Jersey Boys album, but on my iPod I have four or five albums. The last one I listened to is Chess. 1

Too many to count! There's quite a few shows on there and quite a few of my colleagues' albums. I was actually literally just listening to Natalie Weiss's "Love Me, Love Me Not", which is one of my favourites. And I'm listening to Something Rotten at the moment, which is very funny. 1

What is the stagiest picture you have in your phone?

The Jersey Boys in Piccadilly Circus. 1

Me with Frankie Valli and the Dutch Jersey Boys 1

Who is the stagiest contact you have in your phone?

Patina Miller. 1

Probably Kerry Ellis, that's quite stagey. I went to college with her. 1

How many of the Strallen sisters can you name?

All of them I think! Scarlett, Summer, Zizi and Sasi. I know them all and I think Zizi has some good news coming, I can't tell you though! 1

Probably all of them! Summer, Scarlett…..Oh My God! I've worked with the third one… Zizi!…. and Sasi. 1

What is your favourite Shakespeare quote?

It's definitely the "Is this a dagger I see before me" speech. 1

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Such a beautiful sonnet. 1

Do you have any theatrical superstitions?

My biggest superstition would be… they always say about the not whistling in the wings don't they? And the Macbeth thing? 0

Not really. I'd never whistle on stage but apart from that, not really. 0

Who would be your ideal dinner date?

I think I would love to share stories with… hmmm Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder?… I'll say Stevie Wonder. 0 [Not stagey, but there should be a musical about Stevie!]

Bill Clinton because I love American politics and he is probably my favourite American president to date, he’s a non-bullshit humanitarian with a passion for music and I think he’d make an excellent dinner date! 0

Tell us a stagey joke

At the moment my fellow actors and I keep falling through the theatre floor. I guess it’s just a stage we all go through. 1

What's the difference between God and a director? God never pretended to be a director

What is your earliest theatrical memory?

Doing the full musical of Guys and Dolls, playing Nicely Nicely, in Clacton Youth Theatre. That was my first taste of musical theatre. We got a full orchestra as well and that was when I went "Alright, maybe I like this." 1

I watched a local amdram production of Cats at our local parish hall. My hairdresser played Grizabella, it was quite interesting. I was very young and didn't understand why my hairdresser was dressed up in Lycra. 1

And the winner is…


In real life they play the same character and in the battle of ultimate staginess still nothing can separate them. We lol'd loudly in the office at Michael's joke, but a stagier dinner date could have pipped it for him.


We also loved Tim's stagey joke, although some directors out there may not be so keen on it. Again, someone other than Bill Clinton may well have won it for him. Instead he goes into the Stagey league table at joint 5th place.

Coming up next week: The season finale with Cynthia Erivo vs Dean John Wilson

Stagey League Table

1. Drew McOnie

10 points

=2. Stuart Piper

9 points

=2. Jenna Russell

9 points

4. Kerry Ellis

8.5 points

=5. Tim Driesen

8 points

=5. Gerard McCarthy

8 points

=5. Noel Sullivan

8 points

=5. Charlotte Wakefield

8 points

=5. Michael Watson

8 points

=5. Michael Xavier

8 points

11. Richard Fleeshman

7.5 points

=12. Louise Dearman

7 points

=12. Carley Stenson

7 points

14. Charlie Brooks

6.5 points

=15. Summer Strallen

6 points

=15. Catrin Stewart

6 points

=15. Rachel Tucker

6 points

18. Julie Atherton

5.5 points

19. Matthew Kelly

4 points

20. Lucy Briggs-Owen

3.5 points