Jeremy Secomb, London’s Javert, on Playing a Baddie in Les Miserables

first_img View Comments Jeremy Secomb moved to London from his native Australia over 17 years ago, since then he has risen through the ranks to become a West End leading man. Last year, he won raves in the title role of Sweeney Todd in a pint-sized production just next door to the Queen’s Theatre, where he is currently starring as Javert in Les Miserables—a production he joined last June. The genial actor spoke to about taking on projects large and small and why, for the moment anyway, he isn’t burning to play Jean Valjean.Are you excited to have your first leading role in the West End be in a musical?Absolutely! I’ve been here for a good while and done quite a few jobs but this is my first principal role apart from Sweeney Todd, and that of course was in a tiny production whereas this is the original Les Miserables.Yes, and how many original productions of any show are still running?I was playing Javert the night of our 30th anniversary and Cameron Mackintosh said how the show was going to outlive us all and what an amazing achievement it was to be a producer of something that’s going to outlive everyone who’s ever done it.Did you know the show well before you came to be in it?Funnily enough, I did an amateur production when I was in my early 20s back in Australia, up on the Gold Coast in Queensland. I played Joly, one of the students—this must have been around 1993 or 1994.Is it hard to make the role your own with such a long-running show? It is a challenge because so many people move in and out of these shows and there are restraints but the fantastic thing with Les Miz is that we had a proper rehearsal schedule with the resident and associate directors and talked a lot about the characters. Some shows you go into, all you get is, “Stand there, sing the line and exit.” But on this one, we went quite in depth.Javert gets to make a strong impression with not that much stage time.The major difference between playing Valjean and Javert is that Valjean has this amazing arc that the audience sees since he is onstage 90 percent of the time whereas Javert comes on and has his moments and exits so you don’t actually see as much of an arc.In other words, you have to do more with less.Precisely, and the added challenge with Javert is that the audience on the whole thinks he’s the baddie whereas of course you can’t play a baddie. I don’t think he’s coming from that place. To me, he’s someone who has his mind on the job. The fact that it’s all about justice means that as far as Javert is concerned, Valjean has broken the law: it’s there in black and white.Do you ever think you’d like to cross over and play Valjean as several performers have done?It’s certainly a fantasy role to play Valjean but I’m extremely happy where I am at the moment. What’s particularly nice is because I’ve spent years and years singing high in parts like Piangi, the operatic tenor in The Phantom of the Opera, it’s quite nice for me for a change to do more than just sing high.You mention The Phantom: is that role on your wish list?I actually understudied the role while I was playing Piangi and got to go on quite a few times. It’s an incredible role to play, and one day I’d love to do it for a proper run; that would be a dream for me. But there are a lot of people that all want to play it, so I’m one person in a long line.Playing Sweeney in a chamber production seating fewer than 70 people must have been pretty staggering.It was amazing and at no time more surreal than when we had Angela Lansbury there in the audience—that was about as surreal as having Mr. Sondheim looking up at us. I had four weeks where I was playing Sweeney at night and rehearsing Javert during the day. That was knackering!Why do you think these mega-musicals, especially Les Miz, have endured so long?With Les Miz, I think it’s that the whole journey touches everyone, so every single person that comes to see it—whether a 10-year-old right through to people in their 80s and 90s—can relate to a particular point of anyone’s story in this show. I mean, everyone has lost a member of their family or a close friend.The musical possesses a mysterious alchemy, in a way.The fact that it was first done at the Royal Shakespeare Company and also has one of the best scores that has ever been written and has been directed and designed in such an iconic way so that it’s simple to watch and you can follow it easily—it’s the perfect storm: the stars aligned, and 30 years later it’s still going strong.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Tony Yazbeck Joins Caissie Levy at Carnegie Hall & More

first_imgTony Yazbeck(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Tony Yazbeck Heads to Carnegie HallCaissie Levy has a new leading man at Carnegie Hall. The Broadway alum will be joined by Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck for the New York Pops’ Life is a Cabaret: The Songs of Kander and Ebb on March 10. Yazbeck steps in for the previously announced Joshua Henry, who is embarking on the national tour of Hamilton that same day.Honeymoon in Vegas Gets U.K. PremiereA whole bunch of Elvises (Elvii?) are about to skydive into London. Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas will receive its U.K. premiere at the London Palladium for a one-night-only concert on March 12. Brown himself will conduct the 30-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra for the concert staging, which will feature a handful of West End favorites to be announced.Sleepless in Seattle Postpones Musical PremiereThe previously reported Sleepless in Seattle musical has hit the snooze button. The musical adaptation of the 1993 film, which was set to premiere at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in the U.K. on April 1, has announced that it is delaying its run due to “an illness within the producer’s family and overwhelming unexpected circumstances.” The musical, featuring music by Robert Scott, lyrics by Brendan Cull and a book by Michael Burdett, is expected to announce a new timeline next year.Frank Langella to Star in Lapham Rising MovieFrank Langella, who won his fourth Tony Award last year for The Father, has been tapped to star in a film adaptation of Lapham Rising. Deadline reports that the movie, based on the bestselling novel by Roger Robsenblatt, is scheduled to begin shooting this spring. Charlie Kessler will direct the film, which follows a retired writer whose quiet life in the Hamptons is uprooted when a multimillionaire begins construction on a mansion across the street.last_img read more

SEA Games: 16 Malaysian athletes hit by food poisoning

first_imgMarcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Few other details were released but Low Beng Choo, secretary of the Games’ sports and technical committee, said those affected had been asked not to compete until they recover.“One went into hospital because we wanted to be very sure it was nothing very serious… it wasn’t as if it was an emergency. The rest of them are resting in the hotel,” said Low.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’She added: “One of the swimmers missed an event. We asked him not to compete… in the interests of the athletes we have told the athletes not to compete.”Low said those affected had breakfast in the team hotel, where Malaysia’s 800-plus contingent are staying, before dispersing to different venues. But she said the source of the outbreak was still under investigation. MOST READ Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees The outbreak is not the first troublesome event at the biennial SEA Games, which has 11 nations competing in a diverse array of sports from swimming and athletics to pencak silat and wushu.Organizers mistakenly printed Indonesia’s flag upside-down in a commemorative booklet, prompting protests and revenge hacking attacks by Indonesian activists.Among a litany of transport incidents, eight people suffered minor injuries in a bus crash, forcing two squash players from Myanmar to pull out of their doubles matches.Two Myanmar football fans were beaten up after a match against Malaysia, and the home fans were also condemned for chanting “Singapore dogs” during another game.Indonesia’s women’s sepak takraw team walked out of a match in a protest over judging, and the men’s and women’s squash doubles finals had to be moved after the centre court surface was found to be too slippery.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies What’s in store for your animal sign this year Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Athletes and officials of Malaysia march during the opening ceremony of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 19, 2017. AFP FILE PHOTOKuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Sixteen Malaysian athletes have been hit by food poisoning at the Southeast Asian Games and one is in hospital, organizers said on Thursday in just the latest mishap to hit the competition.Games organizers said they were still trying to identify the source of the outbreak, which forced one swimmer to miss an event on Wednesday and also affected a petanque player.ADVERTISEMENT PCCL launches national competition for collegiate basketball Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal View commentslast_img read more