For his next stage role, Adrian Hansel will be starring as Maxwell in CASES, a new musical written by Dominic Powell, at The Other Palace from 31st March until 18th April alongside Sabrina Aloueche, Andrew Patrick-Walker and Maiya Quansah-Breed, with the cast recently performing some of the songs at The Theatre Café. Earlier this year, Adrian finished his run as Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls at Sheffield Crucible and performed at West End Superstars in September at Live at Zédel. Adrian was in the cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Southwark Playhouse which saw Oti Mabuse win an award for Best Choreography/Movement for the show last week. Catching up with Adrian, we find out about his time in Guys and Dolls, performing at The Theatre Café and the upcoming production of CASES.
Can you tell us about your role in new musical CASES?
I play Maxwell, an arrogant, emerging theatre actor/director previously eager to make money, regardless of artistic merit. Having experienced the dark side of fame, he wants to now rediscover the artistry.
Why do you think audiences will enjoy the production and what have the songs been like to learn?
A lot of people are craving something new, honest and home-grown, and this is all of that! New music, new songs and new concepts. If you like beautiful melodies and harmonies, then come take a listen! The songs – more the group numbers – have been a pleasure and also arduous! Very close harmonies and very wordy lyrics but we all love to be challenged, hey?
Was there anything that drew you to the role?
Yes! I’m the complete opposite to the character in this piece! I’m definitely more for the artistry!
The biggest show may come around the corner but I think if I’m not going to enjoy it or it just doesn’t ring with me, I don’t want to do it for two/three to twelve months, singing songs I don’t like or care about, it’s absolutely not the one! So I’d rather take something smaller, not as well paid, but my heart is full and my mind is challenged.
CASES will be running at The Other Palace from 31st March to 18th April, why do you think this show will work at this venue and how are you preparing for previews and opening night?
It’s still new! So we want to bring the audience in with us, we want it intimate, we want to share what we have and involve everyone in hearing what we have created. We can see you and you can definitely see us and hopefully we’ll bring you with us on our journey.
Preparing for a piece like this is rehearsal, connection and being true to what is written, for the writer/composer’s sake, which is Dominic Powell, and our Director, Grace Taylor.
How was your run in Guys and Dolls at Sheffield Crucible?
It was perfect! To finally work at the prestigious Crucible Theatre was a huge tick on my list. It was a highly successful run with outstanding reviews and a stunning cast.
What did you enjoy most about being part of the production and performing in Sheffield?
I enjoyed the whole production run-up, backstage, front of house, cast and crew… it really is a huge in-house family feel! Our Director, Rob Haste, was one of the best and most nurturing directors I’ve ever had.
What was Benny Southstreet like to portray?
Perfect for me! But Benny only works with a strong sidekick partner in Nicely-Nicely Johnson, and I was lucky enough to have the wonderful TJ Lloyd, who sang up a storm in the most famous number Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat. We had a great connection, sounded great together and approached the parts slightly differently, which our Director, Rob Haste, helped with and championed.
It has recently been announced that Oti Mabuse won Best Choreography/Movement for Ain’t Misbehavin’, how did it feel being part of this production and learning the choreography?
It really was another layer of icing on the perfect cake! Oti Mabuse is like a sister! Even now I can banter with her, we make fun out of each other and she’s the most real, grounded person, so successful, so talented, but she’s just Oti!
I loved the show and cast and I LOVED the choreography, even a Strictly-type waltz, which took me several hot seconds to pick up… but we got there!!
How different do you find being part of a small cast like CASES and Ain’t Misbehavin’ opposed to a larger cast like Guys and Dolls?
It’s very different, you obviously have more of a connection with a smaller cast, and generally with a small cast, there is more to do and more responsibility, no ball can ever be dropped in any production, but with a cast of four or five, it’s more so.
You’ve performed numerous times at The Theatre Café, what is it like performing there?
It’s a safe, warm space! It’s very supportive and a fun thing to do! Also, we get to have a hot chocolate with musical theatre fans from all over! They are a great support.
The Theatre Café also live streams the performances, which, again, is very generous and gives people outside of London, students or just people who maybe can’t afford to always get to the theatre to get to be involved with us! The theatre is a community and we really are all a community! Be yourself, be free, be expressive and feel part of a safe inclusive community.
Nicky Sweetland of The Theatre Café is always so accommodating, and the staff are the friendliest you’ll ever meet!
Can you tell us about performing at West End Superstars?
Yes, at the Zédel! It was for Michael Quinn Productions. There is nothing better than standing alongside your West End peers, singing out West End favourites with some of the best voices in our industry! Always fun and a giggle.
Do you have any upcoming events/concerts where you’ll be performing?
Yes! Please look up and come along to support #CheerUpCharlie – The Show on Sunday 3rd May at 7.30pm at Actors’ Church. It’s a huge anti-bullying campaign and needs all the support we can get!
There have been many new West End shows opening recently, which have you seen and would recommend?
I saw The Prince of Egypt starring West End’s, and my Hairspray mate, Liam Tamne. It’s a beautiful show, beautifully sung and an ensemble which deserves awards!!!
I also saw a dance show called Message in a Bottle, directed/choreographed by Kate Prince and featuring music by Sting. It absolutely blew me away and made me emotional by how beautifully it was danced by the most amazing cast! It’s honestly one of the best things I’ve seen.
What are you looking forward to for starting your run in CASES?
I’m looking forward to sharing new material! People are always asking for something new! Something original! Well, here you have it! CASES! So, come watch, then sing all of the new, undiscovered songs at concerts and castings!! They really are beautiful.
Also, shoutout to the A* cast! The powerhouse Sabrina Aloueche from We Will Rock You and Les Misérables; the star turn and soulful voice of Andrew Patrick-Walker from Bat Out of Hell and Jerry Springer; and the stunning tones of Olivier Award nominee Maiya Quansah-Breed from SIX.
CASES starts 31st March and runs until 18th April at The Other Palace https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/cases/.
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