The actor chatted to Emma Clarendon about currently starring in The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre.
Hi Liam for those who haven’t seen the film what is The Prince of Egypt about? So the animation is about two young boys, two brothers who embark on the worst time of their lives really – it is a journey of discoveries as one finds out that actually he wasn’t born into the Egyptian family and is actually a Hebrew. That obviously sets off a ripple effect through the Egyptian family. Its also a journey of discovery for one brother who actually the people he has been looking down on and who work for him are actually his people and he wants to fight for their freedom, while the other side of it is Ramses who actually has to go with duty and the pressures that he feels that his family and history has put upon him. It goes through challenges and understanding relationships, faith and love for the two brothers.
What was it that made you want to be part of this production? It was the music first and foremost because I know Stephen Schwartz really well – he’s a friend of mine. I worked with him on Wicked the musical and then Working so it was that and also it was one of my favourite animations because it was so gritty, grainy and dark. Dreamworks really pulled out all the stops out and I just knew the production turned into a musical would be equally as epic as the film.
Could you tell me more about the character Ramses? Ramses is a character who is challenging. He’s tormented in terms of his past by his father – the feeling of never being good enough but always having to please. But also not being the right heir to the throne in a way because he is someone that just doesn’t fill the criteria that his family have built over the years. Its thrust upon him quite young and then he has to fulfil that duty while knowing that his brother isn’t actually his biological brother and is actually a Hebrew is a massive no-no for him. I don’t want to give too much away but for him it s a question of do I follow tradition or do I break it?
How have you found the experience of being part of bringing this musical to life so far?Its been a great experience its been challenging because its been vocally tiring. It is probably one of the most vocally challenging roles I have ever done. But it was nice to be in that creative process and be a part of such an incredible creative team. It’s so much physical theatre and that’s what I have loved as well as being very different from anything else out there – it’s vibrant and storytelling at its best. But also its challenging and epic.
What are you most looking forward to about bringing this story to the stage? I think that for me its a story that is told by plethora of ethnic minorities and that is at the forefront of this. We are one of the highest minorities casts in the West End – so for me its very powerful and we are seeing that in the demographic of the audience and I think that is what has been so exciting and I have been looking forward to that because being an ethnic minority myself it is very important that we get to tell these stories and in the right way.
For those who haven’t booked a ticket yet – why should they? Because there is nothing like it in the West End. It is storytelling at its best, it is physical theatre at its best and I think you won’t find any vocals better than you will hear at the Dominion Theatre.
By Emma Clarendon
The Prince of Egypt continues to play at the Dominion Theatre . To book tickets click here or visit: Love Theatre.com, West End Theatre Breaks, Encore Tickets, See Tickets, From the Box Office, Last Minute.com or Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk.