Jon Robyns has Tea With Wilma chatting about his upcoming London concert
You have performed in some amazing shows so far in your career. What have been some of your highlights?
It’s not always just the shows themselves that are the highlights of each job, sometimes it’s the events those jobs involve. The Les Miserables O2 concert was very special. I was involved in that due to being part of the 25th Anniversary Production. Similarly some Avenue Q press engagements like Europride at the Royal Albert Hall or The Royal Variety Performance we’re very special. I’m very proud to have been involved in great productions that afford me such wonderful experiences.
You’ve just finished touring the UK with The Wedding Singer. How did that go and what are you going to be up to next?
The Wedding Singer tour was a great experience. Playing a role of that size and calibre every night is not something you get to do too many times in a career. Taking it to different audiences around the country is always fun. People’s responses vary wildly from region to region. I’d been attached to the project for the best part of 2 years so I was chomping at the bit to get going. Now that it’s over, I shall miss my 80s band mates and wedding guests! I’ve got a series of concerts coming up between now and new year. They’re always great fun. Some new material, some classics. I’m sure I’ll flood social media with them as they approach.
You have a concert coming up ‘Jon Robyns Live In London at The Other Palace’ on Sunday 19 November. What can people expect from the show?
There’s some songs from my past roles, some in their original versions and some new arrangements. A few of my favourite Pop songs. Some off the wall ideas that may surprise the audience and I’m also going to have a Q&A. You can arrive, get a drink and fill in a question on the provided cards. I’ll pick some out and answer it, whatever it says. I’ll genuinely answer anything you ask. Anything. Best of luck to me!
You have some special guests joining you on the night, Rebecca Trehearn and Tyrone Huntley. What made you choose these guests for your show and what will you be singing with them?
Why wouldn’t I want them? I’d pay to listen to these guys any day of the week. They are both outstanding actors with 2 of the best voices I’ve known. Becca and I trained together at Mountview so we have a long standing, very strong friendship. I’ve loved singing with her for the best part of 15 years. We even did our graduating showcase scene together. Tyrone and I shared a dressing room at the Shaftesbury Theatre during our time in Memphis. He’s an extraordinary talent and wonderful man who I adore and I’m very lucky to call him my friend. I’m not going to say what we’re singing but I’m very excited about it. Very.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the theatre industry and why?
Tough question. I try to learn something from every job and some of those lesson have come in the form of emulating a persons character or habits. Joe Pasqualle’s positivity. John Owen Jones’ ability to lead a company with on stage consistency. Beverly Knight’s kindness and openness with everyone around her. Jon Jon Briones’ never failing energy and commitment to a role. Nikolai Foster’s gentle strength and organisation. My main Theatre Yoda however, is Ken Caswell. Actor, director and general guru. I still keep in touch now. If I know anything about being a leading man, it’s due to him.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
There have been LOTS! Simon Lipkin and I hiding behind our puppets whilst convulsing with laughter. Ending up seemingly dead on the Menier stage after falling backwards off a moving chair and doing a full somersault. Attempting to make my “cool man” exit in Memphis and walking into the solid wing curtain, bashing my nose and knocking me back onto stage. Falling over with no arms to catch myself as Spamalot’s Black Knight and my helmet coming off then having to beg a crying Joe Pasqualle to pick me up. You pick your favourite.
We are living in a time where films are often being turned into stage plays and musicals. If you had to choose one, what film would you like to see adapted to the stage?
Coming To America. Great classic Musical Theatre “I want” for the protagonist. Cool African and American styles to use and imagine how cool the entrance of the Princess sequence would be.
If you won the lottery and could stage one theatre show of your choice, what would you choose and who would be your dream cast?
I’d try to convince Mel Brookes to stage Robin Hood – Men in Tights. It’s already a musical on screen and would be super funny. I’d have Michael Xavier as Robin. Sam Holmes as Blinkin. Giles Terera as Achoo. Simon Lipkin as Prince John. Earl Carpenter as King Richard. Rachel Stanley as Latrine. Gina Beck as Maid Marion. Rapping, dancing, singing, tights and fights. Awesome.
Why do you think people should come and see Jon Robyns Live In London at The Other Palace on Sunday 19 November?
Because I’ll be singing to the cleaners if they don’t.
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma