My Top 5 Showtunes: Emmanuel Kojo

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

After graduating from Arts Ed Emmanuel made his West End debut in The Scottsboro Boys at the Garrick Theatre.

He can soon be seen reviving his critically acclaimed performance as Joe in Show Boat when the Sheffield Crucible production transfers to the West End at the New London Theatre.

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

1. "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat

Paul Robeson is the reason I started to sing and the song was written for that man. The song is an anthem for freedom and the joy that can bring, and that is more vital today than ever with all of the continuous injustice that keeps happening all around us. I mean it is just a beast of a song that will hit you where it matters. Also every other song from Show Boat!

2. "There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York" from Porgy and Bess

I could choose everything and anything from this show, any day, it's one of my favourite musicals. I can sit and listen to it over and over again, the music, the harmonies, it's phenomenal.

3. "Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime

This song gives me chills EVERYTIME I listen to it. From beginning to end it's just so powerful and moving. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis singing this gives me life. I think it is also one of the most incredible scores known to man.

4. "I'll Cover You Reprise" from Rent

"I'll Cover You" is one of the most heart-wrenching and moving showtunes out there. It also comforts and envelopes you in a blanket of incredible and mind-blowing soul. Breathtaking.

5. "Till I Hear You Sing" from Love Never Dies

I mean, now this is a song. To sing this the way it deserves to be saaaang you need the chops – it needs a real voice. There are a lot of versions out there but I think Ramin Karimloo kills it. When it's done right it's outright phenomenal and he does it justice.