Conleth Kane has Tea With Wilma about Molly Wobbly’s
For those who may not be familiar with you work, can you tell me about yourself and some of your career highlights?
Well I am embarking on my 10th year in London, which is unbelievable! I am originally from a small town called Lurgan in N. Ireland. I came over here in 2003 to study Musical Theatre at The Arts Educational School in Chiswick. I absolutely loved my time there and made friends for life. Since graduating in 2006, my career has been extremely varied, thankfully. I left and went onto the UK tour of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, followed by playing the Scarecrow in the RSC ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (opposite Rachel Tucker as Dorothy) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. I then went on to have an amazing year playing the role of Lefou in Walt Disney’s UK/International Tour of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (my all time favourite musical). After that I was lucky enough to make the very difficult cross-over into TV, and I filmed 11 episodes in BBC 1’s ‘Casualty’ as new student doctor Paul Bridges. During this period I also made my West End Debut at the Arts Theatre in London back in 2010 in the Musical ‘Naked Boys Singing’, so some days I would be filming in Bristol, then training it to London to be on stage that night. Some people thought I was crazy, but personally, I am happiest when I haven’t a minute to spare. I thrive on being busy! 2011 was a crazy year as I became a live finalist on Ireland’s first ever Musical Theatre TV Talent show ‘Fame the Musical’ (very similar to the Andrew Lloyd Webber casting shows’). I sang for the public vote every weekend for 5 weeks and managed to come 4th. This really raised my profile in Ireland. An overwhelming experience. Something I’ll never forget! I have also worked in Pantomime with some huge stars like Pamela Anderson and most recently, Gok Wan and John Partridge! I absolutely love Panto! I have also done two summers at the Edinburgh Fringe, which I absolutely adore! However, when it comes to musical/career highlights, ‘Molly Wobbly’ is most definitely at the top of the list!….
Molly Wobbly is about to open at the Phoenix Arts Club. Can you tell me what the show is about and what people can expect if they come to see it.
‘Molly Wobbly’ is brilliant. Paul Boyd is a genius and it is fully displayed in this show. To be fair, it’s utterly bonkers, and couldn’t be further from reality. Also, I have never seen audiences laugh so much. The songs are catchy and witty and the characters are a joy! It has a very ‘cult musical’, feeling to it. Think a modern-day ‘Rocky Horror’, but only with a lot more warmth and heart.
Can you tell me about the character you play and if there are any similarities between you and that character in real life?
I play the role of ‘Jake’. It’s like all my Christmases presents came at once when I read this script for the first time. The role is a gift. I also feel it was a real turning point for me on an acting level too. He is a closet-homosexual who owns a salon, who grew up wanting to be a dancer. He is married to Jemma. Their relationship is almost non-existent and it sets their story up for real comedy. Are there any similarities between me and Jake? Hhhmm, we have the same accent and both enjoy a good Mariah Carey-style riff! Haha! (You’ll understand if you come and see…)
If I asked your friends to describe you in three words, what would they be
Thoughtful, honest, and funny! (God, that makes me sound arrogant)
Do you have a favourite Musical Theatre show or song that means a lot to you?
Like I said earlier, Walt Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was a child favourite, I absolutely adore anything by Alan Menken, so to be in one of his shows was an absolute dream come true for me. I never got tired of listening to the music and even burst into tears on my last day! Every time I hear the opening chords of the title track I still get goosebumps.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
One of the most awkward 2 minutes of my life was when I did ‘The Wizard of Oz’ back in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast in 2007. It was during the scene where the 4 friends go into meet ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. The voice of Oz was recorded before the run by Liam Neeson, which was pretty cool! Anyways, when we walked on we are meant to be greeted by the classic line ‘I AM OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL…..etc etc’, but it didn’t happen… instead, the four of us just stood there in silence waiting, hoping and praying something would happen… I just remember looking at Rachel Tucker (who played Dorothy), and it was one of those moments were we just couldn’t do anything buy sweat and laugh!
Molly Wobbly’s plays at the Phoenix Arts Club 8-19 March 2014. Click here for more information and to book tickets