Niall Sheehy has Tea With Wilma talking about Pure Imagination at the St James Theatre
For those who may not be familiar with your work, can you give me a little run down of some of your career highlights so far?
I don’t know if I’d call anything a “highlight” as I’ve just really enjoyed the work I’ve done so far, to be honest. I would say that making my West End debut in Wicked was a very special moment. Also, I’m a massive Monty Python fan, so being lucky enough to be a part of Spamalot was a genuine dream job.
You are about to star in Pure Imagination, at the St. James Theatre. For anyone not familiar with the show, what is it about?
The show follows five characters who are from very different walks of life and we drift in and out of reality to tell their respective stories. More than anything though, the show is a celebration of some of the incredible music written by Leslie Bricusse. His songbook is far too extensive for us to cover, but we have a massively diverse selection of his work to offer and have constructed our story around it.
Do you have any dream stage roles that you would like to have a go at playing?
To be honest, I don’t. I’m aware how lucky I’ve been to have performed in some of my favourite shows, such as Spamalot and Les Miserables, so I’m just happy to continue to work on whatever comes my way. I prefer to take every show as it comes, rather than hope for a particular show to come along. Having said that, I loved The Book of Mormon when I saw it, so maybe I’ll allow myself to wish to be a part of that some day.
If you could be the opposite sex for the day, which female theatre role would you like to play?
Haha…now THERE’S a question! I suppose Lola in Kinky Boots doesn’t count?? I don’t really know…I think my favourite show might be Assassins, and every character is so interesting, so I suppose I’d like to play either Squeaky Fromme or Sarah Jane Moore. So, if you hear of any all-male productions, let me know!!
Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
Far too many to remember them all….! While playing Chris in Miss Saigon, I managed to inhale a piece of dust or something during the wedding scene. It’s a beautifully quiet and touching moment and I spent the entire scene unable to breathe in without coughing so I tried to hold my breath as much as possible. I was turning blue by the time it got to my lines and I’m pretty sure Eva Noblezada deserved to win an Olivier for not bursting out laughing as I choked my lines out. It was pretty embarrassing!!
Why do you think people should come and see ‘Pure Imagination’ at St. James Theatre’?
The show promises to be a really entertaining night. Everyone has had a hand in creating each character’s story, but more than anything, you will be amazed by the sheer diversity of music written by Leslie Bricusse. You will find yourself humming along and saying “I didn’t know he wrote that one!” again and again. I know I did…!
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Pure Imagination is playing at the St James Theatre from 24 September to 17 October 2015. Click here to book tickets