Despite my involvement in the world of theatre, there are still a number of long-running productions which I haven’t seen, such as The Lion King, Blood Brothers and Mamma Mia!. For me, there is a certain sense of added pleasure to the theatre experience when I finally do find myself in the audience for one of these shows, as was the case when I saw Wicked. The Wizard of Oz ‘prequel’ is in its fifth year in the West End and is as popular as ever, bolstered by the quality of its current cast. Rachel Tucker is one of the most highly acclaimed Elphaba’s in its London history, and the more recent additions of talented soprano Gina Beck and former Busted member Matt Willis have been widely praised by critics and fans alike. Of course, In Profile is here to heap some of that praise of various shows’ ensemble members, and this week, it’s being given to Wicked star Kieran Brown.
Scottish-born Brown trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSADM), appearing in the title role of Aladdin (Adam Smith Theatre, Scotland) and as Sebastian in the Shakespearean play The Twelfth Night (Brunton Theatre, East Lothian) during that time. After graduating in 2000 with a BA (Hons Acting) in Dramatic Studies, Brown played roles in a number of theatrical shows, including the role of Prince Charming in various UK productions of Cinderella, before being cast as Feuilly in the hit musical Les Miserables (Palace Theatre) in 2001. He’s accrued an extensive list of theatre credits to his name since his time in 18th century revolutionary France, a few highlights being the Perfect Pitch showcase of Through The Door, Prince Charming in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (UK Productions), The Ballad of Little Jo (Bridewell Theatre), Four Unlikely Lovers (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Thorn Birds (The Wales Theatre Company) and Laughter In The Rain (UK Tour). He also has years of experience as a soloist performer in musical tours and concerts, including The Musical Starlights (European Tour), The Wonderful West End and The Best of Musicals.
One of the most significant parts of Brown’s stage career is the time he spent in Vienna with the Vienna Theatre Project. Whilst living there, he performed in productions of A Christmas Carol, Beyond Therapy and The Importance of Being Earnest and Over The Threshold, among others; the latter of which he also directed.
Four weeks after his return from Vienna, Brown landed his ‘dream job’ when he joined the cast of Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre) in March 2011 as part of the ensemble and cover to the principal role of Raoul. After the early closure of the show on 27th August 2011, Brown moved on to his current home at the Apollo Victoria Theatre where in addition to his ensemble duties, he covers the roles of Doctor Dillamond and The Wizard.
He is also a regular on the London concert/cabaret scene, having been a guest vocalist at such events as Kinky Kabaret, Gigging For It, With A Song In My Heart, Stars for Burma, A Night of Anderson and Petty, MADTrust’s A West End Christmas and The Music of the Night – The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber. He was also involved in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert (O2 Arena), features on the debut album of singer/songwriter Chris Passey (Self Taught, Still Learning), singing the heartfelt ballad ‘If They Only Knew’ – which happens to be one of my favourite songs on the album – and hosted his debut solo cabaret at the Pheasantry in October 2011 (My Big Fat Musical Cabaret). I’ve seen him perform at several of these events and have never failed to be blown away by the outstanding vocal abilities of this talented individual and his passion for the craft of performing.
Brown is a natural-born performer who found the path to the stage at the tender age of ten and made the decision to follow it after his first experience of Les Miserable, in which Peter Karrie was then starring as ex-convict Jean Valjean. Under the guidance of his RSADM tutor Bill Graham, whose teaching skills he has extolled on numerous occasions, he became one of the lucky few who went on to carve out a successful career in the theatre industry, and in turn, passed that luck onto every theatre-goer who has seen him perform. Kieran Brown is a superbly talented stage performer with a velvet voice, and one can only hope that those leading roles find him in the very near future.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Monday 11th June 2012