The West End is full of plays and musicals which, while each offering a unique experience for their audience, are still just different branches of the same tree of ‘Live Entertainment’. It exists for the pleasure and delight of the theatre-going public, desiring to capture their interest and hold it long enough to take them on an unforgettable journey through someone else’s story. Each show is brought to life by the talented stage performers who guide the audience through that story in the characters that they play, and their skills in song, dance and acting are unparalleled when it comes to entertaining an audience. Some people are just meant to be on the stage, and musical theatre star Carl Mullaney is one such individual. A born entertainer in every sense of the word, his passion and talent for performing make him the perfect person to be featured here in In Profile.
Northern actor Carl Mullaney is a former student of the Arts Educational Schools London (ArtsEd), a highly respected performing arts college which has already given us such stage stars as Nigel Harman, Danielle Hope, Oliver Thompsett, Dean Chisnall, Samantha Barks and the Strallen sisters, along with many more. During his training there, he appeared in such productions as West Side Story, playing Gladhand in the musical which was staged at the open air theatre venue of Canizarro Park, Wimbledon. He graduated from ArtsEd with a Musical Theatre diploma in 2003, and in the 10+ years which have followed, he has proven himself to be yet another of the school’s success stories.
His first professional role post-graduation came courtesy of an international tour production of Chicago, playing newspaper reporter Mary Sunshine. He later reprised the dual-gender role in the West End production of the hit musical, and was also involved in the show’s 10th anniversary gala performance. His first West End appearance was in the cult sci-fi comedy musical Saucy Jack’s and the Space Vixens, playing cocktail waitress Booby Shevalle in the brand new production which ran at The Venue in Leicester Square between 6th December 2005 (previews from 27th November) and 4th February 2016.
He went on to gain further theatre credits with such roles as Carl in Drama Queen (Unity Theatre, Liverpool) and The Diva in Frank’s Closet (Hoxton Hall), before returning to the road to join the touring company of one of the biggest shows in musical theatre history in its milestone year. Mullaney was cast in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, playing the ensemble role of Bamatabois and additionally understudying the principal role of Thernadier. He also received an ensemble credit in the show’s 25th anniversary concert production at the O2 Arena, and subsequent DVD release.
In September 2012, he appeared as a lead singer in the satirical musical show, Jest End, at the Leicester Square Theatre, performing alongside the likes of Ceili O’Connor, Rachel Wooding, Wayne Fitzsimmons, Ashley Russell and Tenors of Rock.
He made his full-time return to the West End in 2011 by joining the London company of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre. He spent several years in the show, once again performing in the ensemble role of Bamatabois, and also covered and played the roles of Grantaire and Thernadier. During his time there, he made numerous appearance with his fellow cast members in other theatrical events, including the late night Les Mis Gives… cabaret series as a performer/host, and various fundraising events for The Make A Difference Trust, such as A West End Christmas and West End Eurovision. I still remember his notable appearance in the 2012 West End Eurovision, performing with members of the Les Miserables cast at the Dominion Theatre to lead their song entry of ‘Ne Partir Pas Sans Moi’ (Celine Dion, Switzerland, 1998) in full drag queen glory, looking and sounding sensational decked out in a glorious array of red, white and blue.
Other credits include performing as a special guest vocalist at Scott Garnham’s début solo cabaret at the Delfont Room, appearing in the music video for ‘Self Indulgent Ballad’, and hosting his own cabaret as part of the A Spotlight On… series at the Landor Theatre in 2012. He also made a television appearance on ITV’s The Bill in 2008 and featured as a ‘dancing hill-billy Zombie’ in the music video, ‘Handsfree’, by Sonny J.
He departed Les Miserables in June 2014 after 3 years in the show, next showing up in Fashion Victim The Musical at the Cinema Museum. He played Jake Spangle in the new musical by Toby Rose, which was launched to coincide with London Fashion Week.
Since then, he has appeared as a comedy commentator alongside Adam Linstead at the 2014 Les Mis V Phantom charity football match, hosted his own cabaret for the autumn season of Cabaret In The House at Lauderdale House (supported by Jo Wickham), and performed in MADTrust’s A West End Christmas at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden.
He can be seen every Monday at Freedom Bar, Soho as the resident host for their popular late night event, Kinky Kabaret, which is now in its fifth year.
Carl Mullaney is one of the West End’s best entertainers, and a highly valuable addition to any show. He comes to life on the stage and infuses everything he does with a sense of enthusiasm, and what can only be described as pure joy for the craft. A talented performer with a wonderful zest for life on the stage, I expect we’ll be seeing him for many years to come.
You can follow Carl on Twitter: @carlmullaney
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Saturday 14th February 2015