The wait is almost over for Les Miserables fans as Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaption of Boublil and Schonberg’s smash hit musical arrives in cinemas in a little over two weeks time. Early reviews have been popping up in various media publications, and so far, they’ve all been impressively glowing – I think my favourite line was: “The Mamma Mia it’s alright to like” (The Independent). This Wednesday, there was an advanced screening of the upcoming Les Miserables movie for the cast and crew. No doubt all involved in the making of this film will be very proud of what has been created, but those who are currently performing in the original West End musical production can be equally proud of what they create night after night on the stage of the Queens Theatre. The company has an outstanding set of principal actors and a wonderful ensemble team to fill in the remainder of the show’s roles. In light of all the recent Les Mis hype, it seemed fitting to feature one such ensemble member in this week’s In Profile; that ensemble member is Shaun Dalton.
Shaun Dalton trained at the Birmingham School of Acting, graduating from there in 1999. Since then, he has been steadily adding a range of theatre credits to his name. Early in his career, Dalton took to that age-old British tradition of the Christmas pantomime, playing ‘Prince Charming’ in a regional production of Cinderella in Barnstaple. Following that, he appeared in the role of ‘Max Kirkov’ in Alan Ayckbourn’s play Ten Times Table at The Mill at Sonning. It was time to get on the road after that in his first UK tour. He joined Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, playing the parts of ‘Reuben/Issachar’. When the production found a more-permanent home at the New London Theatre, Dalton went with it to reprise his role, making his West End debut.
He returned to his royal roots following his time in the West End, first playing ‘Prince Robin’ in The Sleeping Beauty and then ‘Prince Charming’ in Snow White. Then the travelling boots were back on as Dalton joined the UK tour of 7 Brides For 7 Brothers as ‘Mr Perkins’, subsequently leaving to cover and play the roles of ‘Beast/Gaston’ on the UK tour of Beauty and the Beast. He later returned to the show, this time also covering/playing the role of ‘Monsieur D’Arque’. Other theatre credits include ‘Falk’ in Linnaeus (Theatrum Botanicum) and ‘Mr Tewson’ in Fen (BSSD), along with several television appearances.
Dalton is currently performing in the ensemble of Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre He plays the ensemble roles of ‘Brujon’ and ‘Factory Foreman’ and is also the 1st cover to the leading role of ‘Javert’. An audience member who recently saw him onstage in the role wrote about his performance in very positive terms, describing him as: “note-perfect, incredibly commanding on stage, and a real force to be reckoned with.” They went on to say that: “I’d love to see him in a more Principal role come the next cast change.”
Shaun Dalton is a very talented individual with a striking voice, who is a powerful presence on any stage. I don’t think the admiring audience member I previously quoted is alone in desiring to see him featured more prominently in the future – Dalton certainly has what it takes to be a leading West End man.
By Julie Robinson @missjulie25
You can follow Shaun on twitter: @shaunypd
Saturday 8th December 2012