Adapted from the popular 2001 Dreamworks film, the alternate fairy tale of Shrek The Musical came to the West End in June 2011 and has been delighting children and adults alike ever since. The gruff but lovable green ogre and his princess with a secret will soon be disappearing to the land of Far Far Away, however, when the show closes at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 24th February 2013 to make way for the new adaption of Roald Dahl’s popular book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Audiences have seen an assortment of great West End names and high-profile celebrities come and go in the Shrek cast since it opened, including the now-departed Nigel Lindsay (Shrek), Amanda Holden (Fiona), Nigel Harman (Lord Farquaad) and Kimberly Walsh (Fiona). Dean Chisnall and Carley Stenson are currently leading the show as the unorthodox lovebirds, alongside Neil McDermott as ‘Lord Farquaad’ and original cast member Richard Blackwood as ‘Shrek’s’ chatty sidekick ‘Donkey’. There have been changes within the ensemble too in that time, but although some old faces have left and new ones arrived, there are a number of ensemble members who have been with the show since the beginning – we feature one such ensemble member in this week’s In Profile: Ste Clough.
Ste Clough, who originally hails from West Yorkshire, came to train at the Arts Educational School, London, which has produced such outstanding West End talents as Oliver Thompsett, Sally Ann Triplett, Bonnie Langford and the Strallen sisters, to name a few. During his training, he performed in a production of The Drowsy Chaperone and played the roles of ‘Oscar d’Armano’ in The Wild Party and the ‘Old Gentleman’ in The Railway Children. He graduated from there with a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre.
Since completing his training, Clough has gone on to appear in several professional productions. He appeared in the 2008 UK tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, which starred Louise Dearman – and later Rachel Wooding – as ‘Eva’. He then continued his travels with another touring production in 2010, this time in the ensemble of Oklahoma. He understudied and played the role of ‘Will Parker’ in the musical, which also featured Marti Webb and Mark Evans as ‘Aunt Eller’ and ‘Curly’ respectively. His other theatre credits include playing ‘Bacchus, God of Wine’ in Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera Holland Park), U/S ‘Prince Charming’ in Cinderella (Assembly Hall, Kent) and one of the ensemble in the 2009 Whatsonstage Awards (Prince of Wales Theatre). Clough was also involved in Fly With The Stars, a one night only concert held at the London Palladium in 2008 which featured hits from 1940. In addition to that, he took part in the exclusive performance of Betwixt! in Concert at the Ambassadors Theatre. A star line-up which included such names as Sheridan Smith, Tim Howar, Rosemary Ashe, David Bedella, Sarah Lark and Stefan Booth, the concert came on the heels of a successful run at the Kings Head Theatre and was held in support of TheatreMAD, a division of the well-known West End charity organisation MADTrust.
Shrek The Musical marks Clough’s West End debut. In the ensemble, he plays the ‘Pig of Sticks’ and is one of the ‘Dragon’ puppeteers. He also acts as 2nd cover to the principal role of ‘Lord Farquaad’. With the show’s imminent closure fast approaching, who knows where this talented young performer will go from here. He was there for Shrek’s arrival in the West End and he’ll be there for its final curtain call – what adventures await him after that remain to be seen, but will this rising star ascend to greater heights? Well, ‘I’m a believer!’
By Julie Robinson @missjulie23
Sunday 28th October 2012
You can follow Ste on twitter: @steclough87