Aaron Sidwell: 'A Loserville reunion is the only way to truly honour Lil Chris'

The ”Wicked” and ”American Idiot” actor on why he’s reviving James Bourne and Elliot Davis’ musical at the Garrick

Robbie Boyle, Duncan Leighton, Aaron Sidwell, Charlotte Harwood, Richard Lowe, Stewart Clarke and Dan Buckley
Robbie Boyle, Duncan Leighton, Aaron Sidwell, Charlotte Harwood, Richard Lowe, Stewart Clarke and Dan Buckley
© Darren Bell

With music and lyrics by James Bourne and Elliot Davis, Loserville was created for Youth Music Theatre in 2009 and was staged at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2012 before transferring to the West End later that year.

Based on "Welcome to Loserville", an album by Bourne's second band, Son of Dork, the musical is set in 1971 and tells the story of Michael Dork, a computer geek who's invented something that could change the world.

We chat with Aaron Sidwell who played Dork in the original production and is now mounting a revival in memory of fellow original cast member Chris Hardman, who passed away in 2015.

Why are you reviving Loserville?
The main reason is to celebrate the life of Chis Hardman. Very rarely do you meet a group of people who connect in the way the Loserville family did, putting this show on for one of them who has passed seemed like the only way for us to truly honour his memory, for the company and the fans.

Whose idea was the revival?
I had the idea of doing this concert about 18 months ago, so I sat down with Elliot Davis and together with Youth Music Theatre we brought about this reunion. Loserville is a charming and very clever show and it never really got given the chance it deserved.

What are your memories of working on the show's original West End run?
For everyone in the cast, it was either their first job or their biggest at that point. The memories were iconic and that is shown by how every available cast member is back for this concert. But not just the cast; the band, the crew, everyone! That’s a love for something you rarely find in this business.

Have rehearsals been like getting back on a bike? Is it still all in your head?
It’s all come flooding back. It’s been tough to stage it with all the original elements, but hopefully the audience who saw it in 2012 will feel like this is a celebration of that production. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed Michael Dork until I started reading it all again. It’s been great to come back to it a little older and (I hope) a little wiser.

Loserville runs at the Garrick Theatre on Sunday 28 January.

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