With the 30th Anniversary of Fame the Musical in 2018, the show toured the UK and Europe starring Keith Jack as Nick Piazza, including a run at London’s Peacock Theatre before transferring for a limited time at Troubadour Wembley Park from the 21st December 2019 and finishing January this year. Keith was a contestant on Any Dream Will Do, where he finished runner up, and went on to play the Narrator on the UK Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and returning to the musical a few years later, he took on the titled character of Joseph. As a singer, Keith has released multiple albums, and as well as touring with his own concerts, he was a guest singer on Joe McElderry’s Saturday Night at the Movies UK Tour in 2017. Talking with Keith, we found out about touring with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, playing Nick Piazza in Fame the Musical and performing on the Saturday Night at the Movies Tour.
You played Nick Piazza in Fame the Musical, what did you enjoy most about this character?
For me it was the level of connection I had with him as he found fame at a young age as did I and he goes to P.A. to prove he’s good at his craft and can work harder to be better, very much like me after the TV show. Also, I loved the backstory we played with and the fact that it was my first all-singing all-dancing role.
What was the choreography like to learn and perform?
It was fast and hard for the numbers I was in. It took a few days but I loved doing it every night. I had so much fun, and Nick’s routines were amazing.
How was it touring with this production and performing at the Peacock Theatre and Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre?
I had a great time with the show. I was with it for twenty months and it was UK/Europe/West End so it was fantastic to have amazing places to see and go and it helps to keep it fresh with a new venue, dressing room and city.
How did it feel on the final night of the London run?
It was sad when we finished it in London. There was such a buzz for the show in town. We all wanted to do it longer.
Having played Sparky in Forever Plaid at St James Theatre, what was the 50s music like to perform?
That was incredible but also the hardest score I’ve ever had to learn with all the close harmony work, and if you got it a bit wrong it was a car crash! But once we all got it, we had a blast! And it was so much fun to perform.
Can you tell us about playing Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
Well, it’s such an iconic role that everyone knows and loves, and so for me, it’s so close to my heart. After coming second in Any Dream Will Do, I thought my chance was over. But four years later I got the call to step in… I had the best time doing that role and it helped me a lot in becoming a better leading man.
What do you remember from your time on Any Dream Will Do?
It was crazy!! We didn’t stop for three months, we worked with the best people in the industry and I was given a massive break in life. I always look back on that with very happy memories for what it has given me, the friends that have come from it and also where I am in life and who I have become today.
What do you enjoy most about pantomime season?
For me, it’s making people laugh and having fun at Christmas. Christmas is about family, friends and kids’ excitement, and panto brings this all into one place for a few hours. It’s incredible to feel that on stage. It’s most people’s first trip to the theatre, so you are showing them little hints of magic for what’s to come when they go and watch their first musical.
Can you tell us about being a guest singer on the Saturday Night at the Movies UK Tour?
Touring with Joe McElderry and the boys was great! It was so different to theatre touring, we had the tour bus… the lot! BKL really looked after us, as did all the team involved. It was great doing all the big venues for one night and having such a laugh on stage.
You’ve released numerous albums, do you have plans for your music career?
I’ve been very lucky to have my albums, they are always nice to do and to look back on in a few years time. I’m sure there might be a new album at some point!
What’s it like doing your own music tours?
They are different and a nice little break from playing a character. It’s nice to be myself, chat to the audience, sing a few songs and show them a different side to me they don’t get with coming to watch a musical.
What music do you like listening to and do you have a favourite musical of all time?
I listen to every type of music if I’m honest. I like to keep it mixed so that I get to enjoy something different. My favourite musical has to be The Phantom of the Opera – it’s just a classic show with the most amazing score and a dream role of mine.
How did your acting and singing career come about?
From a young age, I always used to sing and perform. I was part of a few different performing clubs, drama and music at school and the choir at church. Being an actor was always in my blood and what I wanted to do with my life. I started an HND course for MT when I left school and not long after was on the TV show. And here I am twelve years later still doing what I love!
We understand you’re part of the online Hope Mill Theatre concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music, can you say more about this?
I was asked by Joe to be involved and it’s all Rodgers and Hammerstein music with so many amazing performers. Definitely something you don’t want to miss!
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