INTERVIEW: Edd Campbell Bird has Tea With Wilma chatting bout MUTED

tea-with-wilma-edd-campbell-birdYou have performed in some amazing shows so far in your career. What have been some of your highlights?
Okay, I’m going to apologise in advance for a shameful name drop! It was my first rehearsal for Sweeney Todd at the ENO which was not only my first ever professional rehearsal, but I hadn’t actually left ArtsEd yet – it goes without saying I was absolutely terrified. About an hour into rehearsals Emma Thompson (who was playing Mrs Lovett) joins in our rehearsal, at which point the Musical Director asks if I wouldn’t mind singing ‘God That’s Good’ with her as I was the understudy for Tobias. So I guess singing along with a double Oscar winning actress in my first ever rehearsal was and will always be a pretty awesome highlight for me! However, since I was about 10 my dream was to be in Les Misérables and to play Marius. So actually achieving my childhood dream has to be the biggest highlight… sorry Emma!

You are about to star in Muted at The Bunker. What is the show about and what attracted you to the part you are playing?
The show tells the story of a talented musician called Michael who after a traumatic event develops a type of mutism. After three years of not talking to anyone and keeping himself shut away in his uncle’s spare room, the old band ‘Lost Boys’ have one last shot at stardom… but they need their front man. The pursuit of getting Michael to talk again leads to opening old wounds and even unearthing some nasty secrets from the past.

I play Teenage Michael, who appears in flashback scenes showing his relationship with his girlfriend Lauren and his Mother. Teenage Michael also acts as the voice present day Michael no longer has mainly through song! For the audition I read some of the scenes involving Michael’s mother and was instantly drawn in to how interesting their relationship was and knew it was something I wanted to explore. The music has a stunning and fresh sound, which I haven’t heard before, so when I was offered the part it was an obvious yes!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the theatre industry and why?
I’ve always looked up to Hadley Fraser. He’s had an awesome career doing such amazing, interesting and different things. To have a career where you can do such a variety of jobs is the dream!

What West End show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
It has to be Ghost the Musical. Before I went to drama school I worked front of house at the Piccadilly theatre and had to watch the show 8 times a week and never got bored! I would LOVE to see it back in the West End!

If you were going to get a new pet and had to give it a musical theatre character name, what would you go for?
Haha! Me and my girlfriend always joke about getting a sausage dog and calling him ‘Mingo’ … one of the cowboys from Crazy For You… so stagey!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Well, it was during rehearsals, but technically still on stage… In the opening of act 2 in Les Misérables I had to run and jump onto a cart with the big red flag and wave it triumphantly. However when I first tried it, my trousers ripped pretty much from back to front. The rehearsal came to a halt whilst I was leant some shorts from another cast member – not cool!

Apart from acting, what is your biggest passion?
FOOD! I love a good restaurant and cooking something new! There is nothing better than spending the entire Sunday cooking up a roast – preferably beef!

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?
Withnail and I – it’s one of my favourite films and I think It would make a great play. Maybe with Ben Wishaw and Benedict Cumberbatch.

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
I think it would have to be Mamma Rose in Gypsy… although I don’t think I could learn all that in one day!

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?
The Hired Man. 100%. It’s such an epic show! And it’s the show that made me want to become a professional actor after doing it with National Youth Music Theatre when I was 14. All I know is that Alfie Boe would have to play John!

Why do you think people should come and see Muted at The Bunker?
It’s a brand new show in a brand new space! The story is gripping and the score is beautiful… don’t miss it!

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma

MUTED will be playing in at The Bunker from Wednesday 7th December 2016 – Saturday 7th January 2017.