I like to look at ensemble members from a range of shows when deciding who to feature for ‘In Profile’ each week, rather than just working my way through the entire ensemble cast of one or two favourite shows. If I haven’t seen a particularly show though, that could have a knock-on effect for them; luckily though, the theatrical world moves in wide circles and sooner or later, you’ll come across them elsewhere. This was the case last Sunday when I went along to the winter showcase of Giggin4Good. Each and every one of the singers who took part in that concert were just tremendous, but there were certain people who particularly impressed: Lincoln Stone was definitely one of them.
Lincoln Stone is currently in the cast of Legally Blonde as Dad/Winthrop/Reporter, as well as understudying the principal role of Professor Callahan. Legally Blonde is one of those big shows in the West End which I haven’t made it in to yet, always assuming there was plenty of time… of course, with the recent announcement of the show’s imminent closure, that time is now painfully short. So I haven’t had an opportunity to see Stone perform in the show, although I have been aware of him through extremely positive word-of-mouth from audiences. I did see him perform at Giggin4Good though, displaying his musical flair with a Billy Joel number on the piano and completely taking the roof off the church with a stunning rendition of Anthem from Chess. In my write-up of the event the following day, I mentioned Stone’s ‘powerful instrument’ as one of the night’s stand-out voices and indeed it is, richly smooth and strong. His name was immediately added to my mental list of ‘In Profile’ potentials and, in the wake of such a successful event, I thought it fitting that he should feature in this week’s piece.
As with other great talents, the road which led to London’s West End could very easily have taken another turn. Stone split his time growing up between Sussex, England and North Queensland, Australia and, although an early interest in theatre saw him train at the West Sussex Theatre Studios at age seven, ultimately he went on to gain a degree in Computer Science, working in Australia as a software engineer. After five years of not gaining a great deal of happiness from this vocation however, Stone made the decision to retrain in musical theatre at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and then moved back to London to pursue the greater range of opportunities available there. His first job was on The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre – as one of the backstage crew members. The bright lights of the stage still beckoned however.
Stone had already gained some stage experience whilst in Australia. He was the principal tenor for Opera West for two years before featuring as the principal soloist for Some Enchanted Evening (The Hills Centre). He then went on to play Enjolras in Les Miserables (Willoughby Theatre), Archibald in The Secret Garden (Willoughby Theatre) and Johnny Angel in the original cast of Cruisin’ (Hills Centre). After his move to the UK, Stone was involved in a number of theatrical productions outside of The West End, including Cole (featured singer/dancer) and She Loves Me (Georg) upstairs at the Gatehouse, Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Emery theatre (Valentin), Closer Than Ever at the Bridewell Theatre (Man 2) and Beauty and the Beast at the Radley Theatre (Beast/Prince). He also spent some time performing on cruise ships as the principal soloist for both the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Mary 2. His first West End role came in 2007 when he joined the original London cast of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre; Stone was a swing, covering Robert and Aldolpho. He has gone on to join two more original show casts as a swing in Desperately Seeking Susan at the Novello Theatre and Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket – having also played Robert in <londonwestend/em>Company at the Unicorn Theatre and toured with Bill Kenwright’s production of Whistle Down the Wind (Boone) he is now based at the Savoy Theatre with Legally Blonde.
Stone is a beast of both worlds though, having worked in both musical theatre and the world of opera. He has toured the USA with Carl Rosa Opera in The Mikado (Nanki-Poo) and HMS Pinafore (Ralph Rackstraw), and the UK too, with The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic). He has also appeared as a guest vocalist for a few cabarets on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, as well as at Lauderdale House – not forgetting of course, his superb performances in both the Giggin4Good winter 2012 and summer 2011 showcases.
Legally Blonde closes its doors at the Savoy Theatre on Saturday 7th April 2012. This door may be closing for Lincoln Stone, but with his outstanding talent, there will certainly be one or two more opening for him elsewhere.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Content updated 1st May 2014