Michael Vinsen has Tea With Wilma

Michael VinsenFor 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?
Sure, I created the role of Peter in the London premiere of ‘Bare’. I’ve been in Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Book of Mormon, Grease, We Will Rock You. And i’m soon to start rehearsals for the London production of Kinky Boots.

You are performing in the UK premiere of Facing East In Concert, a one night concert at the Lyric Theatre. Can you explain what the show is about and the cast that are involved? 
The show is about a Mormon couple dealing with the suicide of their son (Alex). At his funeral they meet his partner (Marcus who I play) and then most of the show is told through flashback. You see Alex’s relationship with Marcus and the affect that has on his parents. And in turn the personal conflicts Alex faces because of his religion, beliefs and his parents’ ideals of what or who he should be. I’ve not met all of the cast yet. Peter DiCesare who plays Alex did the show over in America so he’s very in touch with the piece. Then Rebecca Lock & Alasdair Harvey play his parents who i’ve heard amazing things about. And as it’s in concert format the show is narrated by Harriet Thorpe, who I’ve seen in a few things before and met a couple of times at charity events. She’s lovely and is always totally captivating. I’m very excited to start working with them all.

Do you have any dream roles that you would like to have a go at playing?
Oh SO many roles I’d like to have a go at… I’d love to do Jamie in ‘The Last 5 Years’, Gabriel in ‘Next to Normal’, Frank in ‘Catch Me if you Can’. Joe Gillis in “Sunset Boulevard’ has always been a dream of mine. Anything Sondheim i’d love to do. Also I always seem to be cast as the nice guy, i think it’d be fun to play the baddie… I’ll stop listing now, I could go on and on.

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, which theatre role would you like to play?
I like to play this game with cast mates! I’d have to stick with my favourite, Fanny Brice in ‘Funny Girl’

Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
Errrrmmm… I’ve been pretty lucky and not had anything disastrous happen to me directly. When I was in Hairspray I was understudying Corny Collins. I was on one day and I got a bit tongue tied on a particularly wordy line, and ended up calling Tracy Turnblad something very rude. I think I brushed past it pretty quickly and carried on as normal. Don’t think the audience really noticed, it was just made worse for me because my mum was in the audience of that show!

Why do you think people should come and see Facing East In Concert? 
2 main reasons.
Firstly it’s a deeply moving story with a lot of heart. The characters learn not to judge people based on their beliefs which is something we could all learn from. And I worry that gay characters are still being portrayed for the most part as flamboyant, fun people without a care in the world. Everyone has their soap opera moments, it’s nice to see the grittier side of a gay character’s life.
And secondly, it’s a new musical!! I really feel we need to support new musical theatre more, especially within the theatre community. Don’t get me wrong everyone has their favourite classic, I love me a bit of Carousel or My Fair Lady. But if no one had supported those writers when they were starting out, we wouldn’t have the shows that we call ‘classics’ today. So support new writing and come see Facing East!!

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Thank You for having me! xx

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