Theatre Blog

An afternoon with Hugh Maynard

Written by  Tuesday, 30 September 2014
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After being the youngest person ever to play the part of John in the touring production of Miss Saigon in 2004, Hugh Maynard reprises the role in a new West End production. We caught up with him to talk about Miss Saigon, as well as the launch of his new debut solo album.

Sophia: Hi Hugh, how are you? You are currently starring as John in 'Miss Saigon' - Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed new production showing at the Prince Edward Theatre. Are you enjoying it?

Hugh: I am truly loving it and feel honoured to be a part of the legacy and family that is Miss Saigon.


S: You previously starred in this musical in 2004 and you currently hold the title of being the youngest person in the history of the production to play this role. That's quite an achievement! What encouraged you to audition for the role again?

H: As an actor I am continously striving to do better and I have been given the opportunity to do just that. I feel I have a true connection with John, the role I play in Miss Saigon and with that connection, I have no choice but to play honesty and truthfulness the role requires.


S: You play the role 'John Thomas'. Your big song is in the second act with the song 'Bui Doi', which is about abandoned Vietnamese children at the end of the Vietnam War. Do you feel your childhood experiences and working on various charity work for under privileged children have helped you understand your character more?

H: Yes is the immediate answer. Real life teaches you so much. It has certainly assisted me in better understanding the physical and emotional journey needed to portray John.


S: After training at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and Arts Educational Schools, you've heavily been involved in musical theatre, including starring in popular West End shows such as Judas in 'Jesus Christ Superstar', Simba in 'The Lion King' and both Shank and Sweaty Eddie in 'Sister Act'. Was musical theatre your first love?

H: No, not at first, I always dreamt of being in a boy band. I never had the confidence nor the will to go it alone and actually enjoyed the security of being in groups.


S: Are there other acting ambitions that you would like to achieve?

H: Bond, James Bond. Sorry, I was dreaming there. I would like to play a lead role on the big screen. If I am fortunate enough I would be delighted to take on a more challenging role and be taken out of my comfort zone. I love a challenge.


S: Do you have a favourite musical you have performed in?

H: Yes and I'm in it. Though my favourite entrance as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Lola in Kinky Boots, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats.


S: Up until recently, you were part of an exciting new rock band called Tenors of Rock. How did the concept of the band first come about?

H: We are seven mates that have all worked in various West End productions. Yet not all of us had worked together. We all have a passion for music and have a love for rock music. It was only natural for us to take the next step. Sharing the stage with six of your best friends is an amazing feeling.


S: You've had great success wth the band, touring the UK, US and Europe, performing at the 2012 Olympic Games concert at Hyde Part in front of charity single, Brothers In Arms. Did you expect this when you first started the band?

H: Firstly we believe in ourselves and truly do have an original sound. All we needed was a break and these fantastic events gave us the exposure we needed to succeed. There is no better feeling than being at No.20 in the charts on your birthday.


S: We loved seeing you on The X Factor too and were sad to see you didn't make it to Bootcamp. Nevertheless, did you enjoy the experience?

H: It was a good opportunity, we had a chance to meet new people. We were given a brand new platform in which to play to a new audience. Not only did we have Wembley on their feet, including the four celebrity judges but Dermot O'Leary jumped on my back in pure euphoria.


S: We've heard some exciting news - you're releasing a new album this year! Can you tell us a little bit about it and what we can expect?

H: The album will be a mix of Rock and Soul covers, of my own arrangement. The song selection is based on feedback from some of my fans and some professionals in the music industry. Including tracks such as Creep and Let's Get It On.


S: Will we be seeing you on tour after the album is released?

H: I'd like to think so, certainly in a supporting capacity.


S: You seem to have so much going on at the moment! I dare to ask, but what other projects do you have planned for the near future?

H: My plan right now is to stay focused on maintaining the level of work with charities and charitable events and my music and acting career. Though I am always open to new opportunities and collaborations.


S: It's been great hearing about your career and we wish you the best of luck with your next projects. One last question before you go - if you could give one piece of advice to someone aspiring to be a musical theatre performer, who would it be?

H: For me, being on stage isn't just abut performing, it is academic. Learn your craft, be an individual, hone your skills and ask lots of questions...I have a website, Twitter and Facebok accounts. Please feel to ask me questions.







Read 4849 times Last modified on Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Sophia Tremenheere

In her free time Sophia plays the french horn and piano, which is where her love for performing arts first stemmed from. Her top three favourite shows are musicals Mamma Mia, Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera. She also enjoys going to intimate gigs and festivals, particularly watching acts that are just starting out in their career, and regularly meets up with #LDNTheatreBloggers.

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