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Morgan Gregory - Newsies Interview

Newsies, Disney’s acclaimed Tony and Olivier award winning Broadway musical is playing in London at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.

Winner of the 2023 Olivier Award for Best Choreography, and Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, Disney’s Newsies has music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots).

Based on the 1992 Disney film, itself inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, Disney’s Newsies is a high-energy song and dance musical tackling age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices, and David-versus-Goliath struggles as the young learn to harness their power against a corrupt establishment.

With only a few weeks left of the run at London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre I caught up Morgan Gregory who is one of the swings in the company.

When did you first discover Newsies?
I remember watching the Broadway version in my first year at Musical Theatre College. I remember just being completely blown away by everything about it - from the choreography to the set. It was the first time I had ever seen a professionally filmed version of a show and I just fell in love with it. I think I watched it about 10 times that week!!

What first attracted you want to be a part of the show?
After the impact of the Broadway version I really do think it is almost every performers dream to be in Newsies (certainly who I knew). And when the announcement of a London production happened everyone was going crazy. Everyone wanted to be apart of it... and I was one of those people trying to get an audition for it!!

What does your role of being a swing entail?
So a swing basically covers all the ‘ensemble’ tracks in a show. So in Newsies, I cover every single Newsie including the two Delancey Brothers. As the show is so physically demanding we are there to jump in at a moments notice to make sure the show can run smoothly. It is an incredibly difficult job but it is so rewarding. The cast are like one big family and when you are thrown on or doing a crazy split-track (covering multiple roles at once) everyone is so supportive and make you feel at ease.

What is your creative process like when you’re a swing?
Because Newsies has so much detailed choreography my first aim was to get it all in my body. I tend to focus on getting all of that down first. Once I know every step in the show then I will pick a character and go through their show number by number and scene by scene. Once I have done that It’s kind of like revising for a test. Just keep going through it till it’s in your head! Swinging on a show is kinda like a solving a jig-saw puzzle... Once you know where one piece goes you can then work out what fits next to it and sooner or later you’ve got the whole thing nailed.

The cast of Newsies. Photo by Johan Persson

Do you have a favourite part of the show?
I don’t wanna spoil anything but for me a favourite part has to be the ending of King of New York. I would love to tell you why but you’re going to have to book a ticket to find out!!

What are three things that help you ‘seize the day’?
- Water (especially at the moment - Wembley is sweatyyyyyy!)
- A toasted bagel with strawberry jam ( Best after show snack)
- My Newsies cap

What do you want an audience member to take away from seeing Newsies?
I would love for audience members to be inspired. I remember watching shows when I was younger and all I wanted to do was be up there. With hard work anything is possible... and who knows maybe you’ll be the next Newsie!

What performers have inspired you?
I think the biggest inspirations to me are the performers I’m surrounded by everyday. Getting to watch them up close and experience a scene/show with them is amazing. This cast are so insanely talented and I love working with them.

Can you describe Newsies in 3 words?
Inspiring, fresh, incredible

Newsies plays Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in until Sunday 31st July 

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