Since getting involved in musical theatre, Joseph Peacock has had many roles including the lead of Pete in The Burnt Part Boys at Finsbury Park. Joseph can now be seen playing the role of O’DESSASUITE and cover for the character Tink in the popular musical Bat Out Of Hell at West End’s Dominion Theatre, which runs until 5th January 2019. Ahead of a performance, we sit down to chat to Joseph about appearing in the West End show, getting into musical theatre and the first night on stage at the Dominion.
How are you finding your time in the cast of Bat Out Of Hell as O’Dessasuite?
Crazy, absolutely crazy… I wouldn’t even know how to put it other than that! It’s been the fastest four months, it does not feel like we’ve been here for half a year, it’s been crazy, it’s been so welcoming and mad but brilliant!
What do you enjoy most about being involved with the show and performing in the West End?
I think singing the songs – it’s so cool. I don’t think we quite appreciate the awesomeness of all this music that is being played, like when you hear the introduction to Anything For Love, it’s just great.
Can you tell us more about the musical?
Bat Out Of Hell is about a group of teenagers that are frozen at the age of eighteen in this dystopian world that has been basically just fire and flames. Tink is the only character in the show that is frozen younger than everybody else (he’s frozen at fifteen/sixteen years old), and it’s just about their challenges of finding love. Raven ages but we don’t. It’s the Romeo and Juliet story of how they’re going to continue their love in this crazy world.
Have you acted with any of the cast members previously?
I don’t think I have. I was really lucky that some of the cast knew who I was! Christina Bennington knew me because she came and saw The Burnt Part Boys and really liked it. It was really weird because obviously she’s the lead and as I came into the first rehearsal she was like “oh my god, Joseph” I was like hello! That was a bit of a strange one, because she already knew me but I had no idea that she had such a strong thing with the show that I was in before.
What was your first night like performing on stage at the Dominion Theatre?
It was actually really weird! My first ever musical that I ever saw was We Will Rock You which was here, so it was a really strange to come backstage for the first time, to put on costumes, to put on the mic, then bow in the Dominion Theatre. My mum, I think, was a bit emotional as well. It was a really nice moment, it was really cool.
Did you know Meat Loaf’s music before being cast and when did rehearsals start for your role?
I sure did, yeah! I don’t think there’s anyone that’s going to come into the theatre and not know any of the music. I’m not personally the biggest Meat Loaf fan, there are crazy fans, but I know all the music. I think the show reaches everybody whether you’re a massive fan or not.
Rehearsals started in February. I was thrown on, I think, two weeks into rehearsals which was absolutely crazy. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster this show, literally just a complete rollercoaster from start to finish – every night is different, every rehearsal is different and all the characters are crazy.
You are the understudy for the role of Tink and have recently been performing as the character, how has this gone?
It’s been awesome. Just to be able to go out there and tell the story of this young man, of how he’s so wonderfully strange and stuck in this strange time in his life, where he’s a teenager. He’s just finding out how to be a man but he’s also frozen younger than everyone else, he can’t quite be him, and then his undying love for Strat and he doesn’t know how to feel about that or portray that. Telling that story every single day has just been an absolute blessing, it’s been really really fun.
What’s the shortest notice you’ve been given when being called up to play Tink?
The week before last. We did All Revved Up, which is the first number, and Alex (Thomas-Smith), who plays Tink, hurt his ankle in that number and he had to be carried off stage. I had about, I think, two minutes to get changed in a new wig, new costume, new mic… but we did it! That was probably the quickest and it was good fun.
How long does it take you to get stage ready?
Probably about half an hour. The wig’s the first thing that goes on because that is the most important thing, so that takes about ten minutes to get on, then the rest of it’s just putting the muck on and the little additions that the costume has. After make-up, I just listen to a little bit of music and then I’m ready for the first number.
Bat Out Of Hell have special sing-along performances coming up, what are you looking forward to these shows?
I think the numbers like Bat Out Of Hell and Paradise will be awesome. Tink’s number is a little spotlight and if people are going to sing along to that it’s going to be really cool and really fun.
Meat Loaf attended one of the recent matinees, had you known for a while that he would be attending?
No, I think we found out the day before. About two weeks before that they had Brian May in as well and they told us that at the half hour call!
How long have you been involved in musical theatre and what was your first casting?
I was about sixteen, I think. I left school to go to a college called EDA, Emil Dale Academy in Hitchin, and I did a two year course there. I did West Side Story and then I was Danny in Grease in my last year which was really fun. After that, I was really lucky to get a job at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park as the lead in a show called The Burnt Part Boys. It was my first professional musical theatre job which was amazing. I went to Mountview for a year and then I dropped out, then I did Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, I was Benjamin the little baby brother for three months, haha, that was fun, and now I’m here.
Was there anything you were interested in doing apart from musical theatre?
Art. I really wanted to be an artist, and that was the only thing in school I was ever good at. I’m really not that intellectual, my sister got all the brains!
What is it like touring with a theatre show and would you like to do more tours?
Ooooh it is fun! I only did it in the UK, but you get to see everywhere. We were in a place for a week and it was just great! This may sound silly, but I really like trying different foods, and you got to try so many different types of food!! I was in Lowestoft, I think, and they had this food, it was like crackers, and then it had halloumi and marmite – amazing!!
Are there any West End musicals you’d like to see?
I really want to see Tina, and I would like to have seen The Grinning Man. I have seen Memphis, that was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life… Memphis, please come back!
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