Alex Gaumond, who delighted audiences as Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde and rocked it as Galileo in We Will Rock You, has returned to the West End stage. He is now starring as Alberto Beddini in the very popular musical Top Hat.
Alex was happy to have a chat with me about his latest projects and his current role.
When I last interviewed you, you were about to join We Will Rock You as Galileo. Did you enjoy your time at the Dominion Theatre?
Yes, I absolutely loved it. It was great to have the opportunity to return to the show after having such a great time playing Galileo on the original UK tour two years prior. This time, with a different set, quite a few script changes and the simple fact that I was older and wiser, I was able to get something new out of doing the show instead of just repeating what I had done before. It’s a great role and I’m very proud to have played it twice.
You were very busy in 2012. You took part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for “Jesus Christ Superstar” on ITV and went on to actually play the lead role in a production for Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia last August. What was that like for you?
I loved my time on ITV Superstar, it was a very interesting experience and something I had never done before as I’ve never gone up for reality TV shows in the past. I had a great time on the show and met some really talented and genuinely nice guys. The fact that I ended up playing the role of Jesus in another production of the show only a few weeks later was absolutely incredible and a wonderful way to complete the circle on the whole experience. It’s a phenomenal role to play, extremely challenging vocally but also very demanding physically and emotionally, which I especially enjoyed. I really had to push myself and was drained after every performance but gained so much from playing the role.
Last spring you joined Ramin Karimloo on his UK tour. Please tell us about this experience.
I was obviously very honoured that Ramin asked me to join him on his UK tour. It allowed us to perform the duet we are most known to collaborate on, our version of ‘Ahead By A Century’ by the Canadian band The Tragically Hip, which always seems to go down well with audiences. We also adapted one of his solos from his album into a duet, ‘Eyes Of A Child’. Most importantly for me, it was an opportunity to perform a live preview of my new single ‘Here I Am’ before releasing it a month later. I had a great time on the tour and it was a pleasure to perform with a fellow Canadian and his awesome band. What a sound they made!
So the audiences were lucky enough to get a preview of “Here I am” (which is now on sale worldwide). Will there be an album soon?
We are currently working very hard on a future album. It’s hard to determine when it will be finished and launched but we’re putting a lot of energy into it so all I can say is watch this space! In the meantime, ‘Here I Am’ is still available to download and it’s been selling well so I’m very happy about that and grateful to everyone who has bought it so far.
On 5th February 2013, you returned to the West End, appearing in Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, playing the role of Alberto Beddini. Obviously a completely different kind of music than Legally Blonde and We Will Rock You! What attracted you to the musical?
It’s a wonderful show, proper old school magic with a very funny script and makes for a lovely evening, but what really attracted me to the job was the role of Alberto Beddini. It’s completely different to what I’ve done before and a great way to stretch myself as an actor.
Who is Alberto Beddini and how does he fit into the storyline?
He’s a flamboyant Italian fashion designer who works with Dale Tremont (the leading lady in the show). Without revealing too much about the plot, he gets jealous when the leading man Jerry enters the picture and this leads to all sorts of extreme situations. Very fun role to play.
Why do you think people still enjoy Top Hat, almost 80 years after the film was released?
I think that Irving Berlin’s beautiful melodies are timeless and truly capture people’s imagination, whatever age they are. The script is very funny and moving, going back to the golden age of Hollywood when movie studios spent a lot of time and resources on perfecting a great movie script. The show has plenty of delicious witty one-liners, the characters are full of personality and the story and choreography literally sweep you off your feet. Pure escapism.
Are there any other projects we can look forward to in 2013?
Not sure yet, a few things in the pipeline but nothing confirmed yet so the best thing would be to keep checking for updates on my website, Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you for this great interview, Alex. All the best for your time at the Aldwych and your other projects!
Alex was interviewed by Sandra who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre2
Thursday 7th February 2013