Kieran Brown is London’s newest Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, having started understudying the role last year. I sat down for a cuppa and a chocolate finger with him to talk about what’s been happening lately and what he has coming up in the near future.
Can you tell me about some of your career highlights for anyone who may not be familiar with you work?
I’ve been very lucky since graduating in 2000! So far been a bit of everything, some TV (I was a drug dealer in Taggart, was murdered in Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and recently played famous Scottish writer James Boswell for the BBC), done a few plays including The Woman in Black, The Importance of Being Earnest, and been in a few musicals, including Les Miserables, Wicked, Love Never Dies and now The Phantom of the Opera.
You recently became the newest Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. How has it been so far and is this a dream role for you?
I’m the in house cover and it really has been a dream come true. I fell in love with this musical when I was 9 years old, and have always said even if I just get to play it once, I’d be happy! I’ve played the role a few times now and I’ve loved every second. As the in-house cover I’m on as and when needed, which suits me for now because it’s less pressure in a way – it’s a HUGELY demanding role and takes some time to build up the stamina. I have a huge amount of respect for our Phantom Geronimo (Rauch) being able to do it night after night. Its something to aspire to. Her Majesty’s is a very special building to work in, it really is like a family, everyone is so supportive. We have an amazing company, great stage management team, fantastic crew and a brilliant bunch front of house so it’s a joy to go to work every day! Also helps I’m immensely proud of the show and to be part of it – when I’m not on I often go front of house to watch various bits – the overture/opening still sends shivers down my spine every time.
Book tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera here and if you’re very lucky, you might just catch Kieran playing the iconic role!
I’ve seen on Twitter that you are involved with the “Phantom Cycle”. What’s it all about?
I’m not actually DOING The cycle (I don’t own a bike is my excuse!) BUT 4 boys from my dressing room, Richard Munday (cover Raoul, European Triathlon UK Champion!), Time Morgan, Tim Laurenti, Ryan O’Gorman and our Trumpeter Simon Cheney, are cycling from the steps of Her Majesty’s Theatre at 10.30pm after our second show on Saturday 9th May, all the way to the steps of the Paris Opera House (where Phantom is set) in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. It’s an amazing undertaking for a deserving charity, more than 400KM overnight via the Eurostar, then heading back to do the show on Monday evening. The boys are hard in training and I’m looking after their social media, fundraising etc. In less than a week we had already raised more than £680 – we’re hoping to smash our target of £5000 by the time the ride comes along. We’re planning a few fundraiser events before they leave, but if anyone wants to donate they can visit www.justgiving.com/PhantomCharityCycle or text “TTRR86” followed by the amount they want to donate to 70070. Any donation big or small is welcomed and incredibly appreciated!
You have a magical musical cabaret show coming up at Lauderdale House. What can people expect from the show and do you have any exciting special guests?
It’s called “Once Upon A Song – A Magical Musical Cabaret” which I thought with Into The Woods having been out recently and other magic/fantasy/fairy tale TV shows dominating, might be quite an appealing concept. I’m inviting my audience to take a trip to lands far and near, where witches, ghosts or Phantoms may just appear! It’s a musical journey through childhood, our dreams, our wishes, our fears, and what REALLY happens when the lights go out at night, and we get what we wish for… Trying very hard to steer clear of just having a concert full of Disney songs (though there will of course be a couple!) and I have a few amazing guests lined up from other shows such as Miss Saigon and Made in Dagenham who I’ll be announcing soon! The lovely April Nicholson will be opening the show with a short set, which starts at 16.30 at Lauderdale House and Dean Ryan will be my musical director!
Book tickets to see Kieran in Cabaret at Lauderdale House on Sunday 8 March 2015 here
You are also performing at the new Sunday In The Arts at the Arts Theatre. What is the show going to be like and who else are you performing alongside?
I have no idea as I didn’t make it to the first one a few weeks ago, but I’m very excited about it, mainly because i heard great things about the last one and the other 3 singers are awesome! We have Matthew Croke, Katie Payne and lovely Michelle Pentecost who I adore, having done Wicked with her so I can’t wait to hear her sing again! I’m doing a couple of songs but to be honest I haven’t thought about what I’m going to sing yet!
Book tickets to see Kieran perform at the Arts Theatre here
Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
I’ll never EVER forget running onstage at the Palace Theatre for the final bow in Les Miserables with the whole company, holding hands with our Fantine, running right to the front and slipping on her train. I literally went flying in the air, landing flat on my back in front of a full house who laughed and cheered. Mortified. Absolutely mortified.
If you were going to name a pet after a musical theatre character, what would you choose?
I’ve always thought if I had a couple of cats I’d name them Miss Doolittle (My Fair Lady) and Miss Golightly (Breakfast At Tiffany’s). I don’t think I’d actually do it because I’m pretty sure I’d be universally ribbed, so I’ll probably just get a dog and call it Frex…
If you could only ever listen to one more musical theatre song, what would you choose?
Eeeeeek…. Wow. Ummm…. The act 1 finale from Witches of Eastwick ALWAYS makes me giddy so possibly that. Or One Day More. Or Defying Gravity. Can I really only have ONE?!?!
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma