15 April 2020

Isolation Interviews: Shaun Dalton.

Next up in the Isolation Interviews is Shaun Dalton. Shaun credits include creating the roles of Tough Man and Gerhard in Eugenius! (The Other Palace), Ensemble and Cover Don/George in Kinky Boots (UK Tour), Factory Foreman/1st Cover Javert in Les Miserables (Queen's Theatre), Beast in Beauty and the Beast (UK Tour) and Mr Perkins in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (UK Tour).

Q - What was the first show that you saw?
- Apart from Panto when was small (yes I was once) the first show I saw at the Coventry Belgrade was "A Jack To A King." Can hardly remember it. My first West end Show was "Buddy" With the great Alex Bourne. I got to work with him on Eugenius workshop years later. I also worked with his wife on "Beauty and the Beast"!

Q - What inspired you to get into theatre?
- As a kid, I had a choir boy voice and loved singing but when I got to secondary school and my voice broke I kind of forgot about it. It wasn't until during my "A" Levels that I was in class and the teacher was running late I happened to ask a classmate about the amateur theatre group she was a part of. That group was the Eden Theatre Company in Coventry. I  joined and did many shows with them. I loved it and whilst there a friend suggested I audition for drama school. I didn't even know there was such a thing! I auditioned and got in and here I am today.


Q - Whose performance/s have had the biggest impact on you?
- From about the age of 11 I watched and loved Star Trek the next generation. Patrick Stewart was an early hero of mine in his role as "Picard". I wanted THAT voice! In musical theatre though, I'd have to say Philp Quast when he played Javert in Les Mis. Incredible.

Q - What is your favourite musical movie?
- This is a toughie. Only because the movies star the same person! Julie Andrews! The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I could listen to her voice all day long. It's perfect.

Q - What are your favourite show tunes? (You can up to 5 songs)
- A bit self-indulgent at first "Stars", "If I Can't Love Her" but then I'd have to say "Who I'd be", "Sunset Boulevard" and finally "Just be" from Kinky Boots. I loved being part of that company and that number at the end of the show was so uplifting.

Q - What have been your career highlights to date?
- My ambition whilst training was to play the Beast in "Beauty and The Beast" and Javert in "Les Miserables". When I got to play those roles for the first time it was literally a dream coming true. I covered Javert but I'll never forget when I sang "Stars" for the first time.
Creating the roles of "Tough Man" and "Gerhard" in "Eugenius!" Was great fun! I loved that show. Hope it returns someday!

Q - A bit of a throwback but we loved you in Beauty and the Beast all those years ago now. How was it taking on such an iconic role for the UK/International Tour?
- Thank you! I loved playing that role. I covered before I took over the role and had a blast! The transformation into the Beast every show was so cool. Even though it wasn't. I actually stayed thin during that run because I sweated so much! To be the last actor to play it professionally in the UK (at present) is kinda cool too.

Shaun as Tough Man in Eugenius
Photo by Pamela Raith.

Q - What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
- If you can turn your hobby, something you love, into your profession then you'll never work a day in your life. My late father said that to me when I was 8. I never knew what he meant at the time but I never forgot it.

Q - If you could tell your younger self something what would you tell them?
 - Stop worrying! It's not worth the belly aches! Besides everything always turns out fine.

Q - Away from the theatre what are your other favourite hobbies?
A - I'm a geek! A massive Geek! When we were  workshopping "Eugenius!" I really enjoyed contributing to the finer points of accuracy in all the references to comic books, Sci-fi and 80's cartoons! Sci-fi in all its forms. Books and films. Anthropology and history are also passions of mine. I love discovering where we came from and how as it can ultimately indicate where we're going and how we'll evolve. Humanity is fascinating.

I'd like to thank Shaun for his time and his great insight. You can follow Shaun over on Twitter https://twitter.com/shaunypd

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