Performing in a West End show is the pinnacle of success for anyone who grew up dreaming of a career on the stage. Not everyone makes it, but the combination of talent, hard work and a bit of good fortune has seen many aspiring performers achieve the realisation of their childhood dreams. It is equally worthwhile to stand on the stage of a West End theatre with the cast of a classic musical they’ve always wanted to be a part of, or originate a role in a brand new production. Realising his West End dream with the latter is the featured ensemble member for this week’s edition of In Profile: Dale Evans.
Dale Evans is part of the original company of From Here To Eternity. The musical marked the return of lyricist Sir Tim Rice after a thirteen-year absence from the West End, but also marked Evans’ debut. He had always wanted to perform on stage and began preparing for it from a very young age.
Evans grew up in the Welsh town of Williamstown. He took his first steps into the world of theatre at the tender age of seven by joining the Rhondda Theatre Group, spending many years there learning the building blocks of stage performance and landing lead roles in such amateur productions as Aladdin. He later studied Musical Theatre at Bridgend School of the Creative Arts, which is where he got his first real break.
In 2010, Channel 5 commissioned a brand new reality TV-style show called Don’t Stop Believing. Billed as ‘Glee meets The X Factor’, musical performance groups consisting of both singers and dancers competed against one another in live shows, with public votes deciding the eventual winners. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton hosted the show, with also featured a celebrity judging panel made up of actress Tamzin Outhwaite, singer Anastasia, Blue member Duncan James and High School Musical choreographer Charles ‘Chucky’ Klapow.
Dale Evans appeared on Don’t Stop Believing as part of a fourteen-strong group called True DynaMix which joined students of a local theatre and dance group together. True DynaMix were popular with the viewers and made it through to the live final, but fell at the last hurdle when DaleDiva were voted as the show’s winners.
That wasn’t the end of the road for Evans though, who had already secured himself a place at the prestigious UK performing arts school, Laine Theatre Arts. The Surrey-based institution counts such notable West End stage stars as Louise Dearman, Mark Evans, Kerry Ellis, Liam Tamne and Summer Strallen among its list of alumni, and Evans is now hoping to one day be counted among them now he has entered the professional theatre world.
Evans’ past theatre credits include playing Ren McCormack in Footloose (Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl) and Greg in A Chorus Line (Park and Dare Theatre), for which he also understudied the role of Paul. He also appeared at the Epsom Playhouse in Movin’ in Time and played Aaron Fox in Curtains at the Epsom Studio Theatre, in addition to panto roles as u/s Prince Charming in Sleeping Beauty (Civic Theatre, Chelmsford) and Dandini in Cinderella (Swansea Grand Theatre).
In April 2013, he joined the company of the rock musical Bare, which made its European premiere at the Union Theatre in London. Paul Taylor-Mills’ brand new production had a limited run from 30th April (previews from 24th April) to 25th May, but transferred to the Greenwich Theatre in October for a further engagement following its success. Evans played alter boy Matt Lloyd in the musical, which tells the tale of a group of teens who are discovering their identities, sexuality and religion at a co-ed catholic school.
Evans has continued to progress in his career after Bare by making his West End debut in October 2013 when From Here To Eternity opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre. He is a swing in the show, which centres on the lives and loves of a group of US soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbour. It is a musical adaption of the 1951 best-selling novel by James Jones, which was also made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1953 starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra. The musical, which has received mixed reviews, is set to close at the Shaftesbury Theatre in April 2014 after just six months in the West End however.
Dale Evans is one of the lucky ones who actually made his childhood dream happen. From an amateur theatre group in Wales to an original Tim Rice musical in the West End, he has certainly put his talents to good use and it’s always wonderful to see someone deserving get to where they want to be. Only just in his twenties, he is still at the beginning of his career and it’s exciting to think just where he could go from here.
Dale recently sung at the London Hippodrome with YouTube sensation Christina Bianco.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
You can follow Dale on Twitter: @DaleSEvans_
Sunday 29th December 2013