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Brief Encounter with ... Taboo's Sam Buttery

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Sam Buttery plays iconic 80s performance artist Leigh Bowery in the forthcoming revival of Boy George musical Taboo, which begins previews at Brixton Club House on Thursday (6 September 2012, opens 12 September).

Buttery, 20, rose to prominence by becoming a finalist on recent BBC talent show The Voice, on which he was mentored by Tom Jones.

What was it like to be part of The Voice?
It was amazing to be part of The Voice. It was a great experience where I met some amazing people and legends of music. It gave me time to get to know myself, which is invaluable to me.

What made you decide to do it?
I did it because I love entertaining and performing, more specifically, I did it because it focused solely on the voice and that alone.

What was your favourite performance on the show?
My favourite performance was in the battle rounds, singing "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley.

How did you get involved in Taboo?
Daniel Lismore invited me to a charity film screening at the Tate Modern that Boy George was hosting. Daniel told me about Taboo and said that I would be perfect for the role of Leigh Bowery, he then messaged Boy George and told him that I would be tweeting him regarding Taboo. I tweeted, George directed me to casting director Anne Vosser and I got the part.

You've called Leigh Bowery an icon - why is that?
I called Leigh Bowery an icon because I believe he has influenced so many people, designers and performers. I'm not even sure if the designers and performers he influenced know who he is but his work has filtered through. If you look at Lady Gaga's latest perfume launch it has outfits that are almost the same as Leigh's. He was genius.

How much of your own personality are you putting into the role?
I think when you play any part you put a bit of yourself in it. I will do the same with Leigh. Leigh showed us fashion and art are the greatest forms of self expression, an ethos which I believe in and will try and bring to the role.

Any other musical theatre roles you have your eye on?
There are many musical theatre roles I have my eye on... I really want to be in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee if it comes back. Or if that fails, Donna in Mamma Mia! - I am very Meryl Streep.

Did Tom Jones give you any career advice?
He didn't give me much career advice, he just said "good luck"... I don't know of that's good or bad!

How do you create your amazing quiff?
Well I am mourning the loss of it at this moment, but when I did have it, it just required lots and lots of back combing, hairspray, back combing, tears and more hairspray!

- Photo: Sam Buttery as Leigh Bowery

Taboo, which also stars Paul Baker, Matthew Rowland, Alistair Brammer, Sarah Ingram, Michael Matus, Niamh Perry, Adam Bailey, Owain Williams, Katie Kerr and Daniella Bowen, runs at Brixton Club House until 23 December 2012


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