John Owen-Jones is currently starring in Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of The Phantom of The Opera which is playing at the Theatre Royal Plymouth ahead of a national tour. In the first of our brief interviews with cast that are on tour, John answered a few questions that I put to him. I hope you enjoy what he had to say.
You have recently commenced a national tour of a new production of The Phantom of Opera, opening in Plymouth. How does this musical differ from the original at Her Majesty’s Theatre?
It’s radically different. You can’t even compare the two. The new production has less melodrama than the original and is much darker in tone. It takes us further into the reality of the Phantom’s world.
How long were you and the cast rehearsing for the tour?
Seven weeks including two weeks of previews.
Do the audience and their reaction in Plymouth differ to that of the West End?
Not really. The audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. We are blessed to get standing ovations for every performance! People seem to love this version as much as the original.
Have you had the opportunity to have a look around Plymouth, and if so what have you enjoyed?
I was brought up in a town by the sea on the south coast of Wales and living and working here has reminded me of that. It’s been delightful. I love being by the sea and when the sun shines on Plymouth it’s a glorious place to be.
What are your likes and dislikes about being on tour?
I like seeing new places in a way you might not see as a casual visitor. Staying in a city for about a month means you get to see aspects of it you might otherwise miss. I dislike being away from my family though.
Why should everyone come to see The Phantom on tour?
To experience the story in a new way. It’s spectacular, exciting and emotional. If you like the original – you’ll love this. You shall not see a bigger, more ambitious touring production of a West End show anywhere.
Looking ahead, you have your second album that will be released in April called ‘Unmasked’ featuring favourite theatrical songs and a few surprises. How long has the album been in the making?
For various reasons it’s taken over a year to make. The actual recordings and mixing took about five months. I’m very proud of it. It contains some of the best singing I’ve ever done.
Are there plans for any concerts with you performing songs from the album?
Yes. I’m looking at options for when I finish the Phantom Tour in September. I shall definitely be performing songs from ‘Unmasked’ live at some point! Keep checking my website www.johnowenjones.com
Many thanks John for taking time to answer a few questions.
You can follow John Owen-Jones on Twitter @johnowenjones
Interview questions by Neil who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
Photo credits: Michael Le Poer Trench