The critically acclaimed musical Jersey Boys chronicling the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is currently on its second UK and Ireland tour. As part of the 2018-2019 tour, the hit musical will be visiting the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury on the 2nd October 2018. I had the chance to chat to the actors playing the Four Seasons themselves, Simon Bailey (Tommy DeVito), Michael Watson (Frankie Valli), Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio) and Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi) about the show:
Jersey Boys is a huge success – why do you think this is?
MW: Because it has all the ingredients for a great show – great songs, an amazing script, slick moves and engaging characters.
SB: I think it is down to the exceptional music and the incredible true stories of one of the most successful bands of all time.
DE: The success of Jersey Boys comes from the fact that everyone knows these songs but not many know the story behind it. It’s thrilling to see the story unfold.
What is your favourite song to perform?
LG: Different favourites or different reasons – ‘Cry For Me, Beggin’ and ‘Who Loves You’.
MW: I love ‘Can’t Take’ and ‘Working My Way’.
SB: It changes weekly, but at the minute ‘My Eyes Adored You’.
DE: It always seems to change but at the moment I would say ‘Who Loves You’! It is such a joyous and epic song.
What can audience members expect of the show?
LG: Come and see it and find out! Not everyone gets the same thing from Jersey Boys.
MW: A story about 4 normal guys that have an extraordinary journey. It’s like a rollercoaster ride!
SB: They can expect a wild ride of great music, slick choreography and a thrilling story.
DE: They can expect to be taking away in the finale world of New Jersey and jump to their feet to the amazing music.
Do you need to be a Four Seasons fan to appreciate the show?
LG: Not at all – but after seeing it you may well become one!
MW: No, the story is worth the ticket enough. You’ll be fan after!
SB: If you are not a Four Seasons fan when you watch it, you will be when you walk out.
DE: I really don’t think you do. The songs are embedded in pop culture so it’s amazing to hear these recognizable hits with the story behind them.
With many of the cast having previously been in Jersey Boys what made you want to return to the show?
LG: The producers came to me and I thought, why not – the mortgage isn’t going to pay itself, plus I’m well used in this tour!
MW: This role has it all. Story, songs and you get to be a rockstar.
SB: There are so few shows with a script and song list like this. Tommy DeVito is such fun to play, it was impossible to say no!
DE: There aren’t many musicals out there that have this strong script behind the music. For me this contract feels the freshest it ever has!
What’s the best thing about touring with a show like Jersey Boys?
LG: Coming home! The underlining sentiment of my character’s story is that fame and fortune is all well and good but home is where the heart is.
MW: The towns we visit.
SB: Getting to see our beautiful country.
DE: Well, I’m from Australia so the highlight for me is seeing the UK and creating my own British family with the company.
Obviously they both have their pros and cons but which do you prefer, touring or the West End?
LG: I’ve been on the road for over 5 years straight now so, West End, hands down!
SB: Genuinely impossible to answer!
DE: At the moment touring for me is what I prefer. I loved being on the West End but I also love travelling and this way I can see the world and get paid for it.
What has been the most challenging part of the production/tour so far?
LG: To Keep going, keeping it fresh, being as truthful as possible without losing your sanity along the way!
SB: We don’t get a huge amount of time off, so it can get very tiring – the audience help us through that though!
DE: Vocally the show demands a lot. And then add the constant moving around, change in climate, accommodating theatres – it’s very hard to be consistent.
For tickets for Jersey Boys at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury click here.
For further UK and Ireland dates click here.
Photo Credit: ©Brinkhoff/Mögenburg