Editorial Fern Pullan Culture Editor
Alexander Campion Assistant Culture Editor
Hey guys, and welcome to the November issue of Leeds On! As promised last issue, this month’s culture section is focusing on the national events of Remembrance Sunday but if you’ve flicked to our section hoping for a mention of something entertaining to see at the theatre this season, never fear! We’re including a preview of the hit West End musical ‘Chicago’, which is running at Leeds Grand Theatre from the 23rd - 28th November. We’re also really excited about the interview we managed to get with West End star Gary Wilmot, who is playing the role of lawyer Billy Flynn in the touring ‘Chicago’ production. He took time out to chat to us about how he first entered show business, and even gave some advice for those burgeoning thespians out there! As Culture Editor, I’d like to welcome Alexander Campion onto the Culture team as Assistant Editor. He’s just joined Leeds Met as a first year Law student, and is really looking forward to bringing his range of cultural and historical interests to Leeds On! Additionally, if you’re becoming a regular reader of Leeds On!, and are interested in reporting on such diverse cultural topics as historical landmarks, museum exhibitions, theatre productions and recipes; contact me on the information provided below - your name might soon be in print! Contact the Culture Editor: Fern Pullan, Culture Editor, Email: email@example.com Leeds On! Newspaper Leeds Met Students’ Union Civic Quarter Calverley Street Leeds, LS1 3HE
Tuesday 17th November
Razzle Dazzle ‘em... Fern Pullan Culture Editor In order to help welcome the new production of the hit show ‘Chicago’ currently touring the UK to Leeds Grand Theatre at the end of this month, your reporter managed to catch Gary Wilmot, the man recreating the famous role of lawyer Billy Flynn, for a brief chat about the production, and the history of his involvement with show business. What first interested you in show business? To be honest, I was sort of pushed into it by some of my friends who thought I was funny! They kind of pressganged me into doing the whole thing properly - such as finding myself an agent, and getting myself out there to do the rounds of the pubs and clubs. They even clubbed together to give me petrol money sometimes to help me get to various gigs. What prompted you to move from television to the West End? In the late eighties, early nineties, I was
part of a television genre called variety which was declining a little in popularity. Comedians were starting to move into acting, especially in sitcoms - some of us found it difficult to come up with material
and why? I wouldn’t say I have just one inspiration, I’m inspired by many different elements of the business and by many different people - the casualness of Billy Connolly and the brains of
in whatever’s offered! Offers are pretty much based on somebody saying I’d be great for a particular part; although I do like to attempt jobs that I’d bebetter at than anybody else! What drew you to ‘Chicago’, and whatdo you think you personally bring to the role of Billy Flynn? I’ve wanted to play the role ever since I first saw the show twelve years ago. The people in this production are the best cast I have ever seen - I can only bring little oldme to join this world-class cast and crew, and hope to give my own personal take on such a famous role.
for a more mainstream audience. The opportunity came for me to make my debut in musical theatre at the Adelphi in a production of ‘Me and My Girl’ - and the rest is pretty much history! Who would you say is your inspiration,
Bob Monkhouse. And many more besides! You’ve appeared in a number of shows, including ‘Oliver’ and ‘Carmen Jones’. What persuaded you to take part in such a wide range of shows? I generally take part
What advice would you give to young people hoping to break into show business? I have one piece of legitimate advice - don’t get a mortgage! You can’t become a truly great actor if you have these sorts of restraints. You have a great debt to pay to yourself and the roles you’re playing, and you can’t do that if you’re restricted with bank payments!
‘Chicago’ Preview Fern Pullan Culture Editor
lawyer Billy Flynn (Gary Wilmot).
The international award-winning show ‘Chicago’ swings into town next week for the first of its eight performances at Leeds Grand Theatre. Based on real life events back in the roaring ‘20s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart (Emma Barton) shoots her lover. Together with Velma Kelly, her cellblock rival, she fights to keep herself from Death Row with the help of smooth-talking
“The sharpest, slickest show on the block!” - The Times Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendery choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago’s sexy, sassy score includes ‘All That Jazz’, ‘Cell-Block Tango’, and ‘Razzle Dazzle’. ‘Chicago’ made its debut at the Adelphi
Theatre in London in 1997, immediately becoming a sell-out hit. It achieved rave reviews, and won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Musical Production’, as well as the 1998 Critics’ Circle Drama Award for ‘Best Musical’.
“Still the sexiest, most sensational musical!” Sunday Express Tickets for the Leeds Grand Theatre per-
formances vary in price from £14.50 - £34.50. Parties of over ten people and students are eligible for discounts at selected performances, and are subject to availability. Evening performances begin at 19.30, and there are two performances on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November. For more information about the production, visit either www. leedsgrandtheatre.com or www.chicagothemusical.com/uktour
Published on Nov 17, 2009