Isaac Lancel-Watkinson started his stage career as Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol at Croxteth Hall in 2016 and over the years has appeared in many shows, most recently in Miracle on 34th Street as Tommy/Ensemble, and Mame as Young Patrick. In 2019, Isaac appeared as a choir boy on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show performing Walking In The Air alongside Aled Jones, and later this year, he’s due to play Colin Craven in the concert version of The Secret Garden at the Adelphi Theatre. Answering our questions, Isaac tells us about appearing on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, playing Young Patrick in Mame and his upcoming role in The Secret Garden.
This November, you’ll be performing as Colin Craven in the concert version of The Secret Garden, how did it feel booking the role?
It felt absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe I got my first West End role. It’s such a fab musical. Really moving and Colin is such a great part. Yeah, I was thrilled.
What are you looking forward to for appearing in the production?
I’m looking forward to meeting with that amazing cast and company and working with Nick Winston again, and playing that venue! And, to be honest, singing those songs again. Round-Shouldered Man is a beautiful song to sing.
Have you had chance to see any of your fellow cast members in their productions?
I’ve watched Ramin (Karimloo) do loads online. He’s simply incredible. The Phantom of the Opera concert was amazing (he makes my dad cry) and I watched Ben (Forster) doing Jesus Christ Superstar. I’d watch Les Misérables every week if I could and I’d love to see Hamilton again. I feel really lucky to have seen that.
The show is being held at the Adelphi Theatre in London, what do you think this will be like?
It’s one of the most famous and prestigious venues. I had a look at the shows that had been on there. It’ll be magical I’m sure.
What was it like playing Young Patrick in Mame at Hope Mill Theatre?
I was one of three boys playing him and we got on really well and I want to thank Harry and Lochlan for being so nice. And the cast and crew were so good to me. They all signed a programme for my birthday which I treasure. Because the Hope Mill was so close to home, lots of family were able to come. But most of all, working and learning from Tracie Bennett was phenomenal. She is kind and funny and simply the best.
How were the rehearsals and how did you feel on your first performance?
They were in London and Manchester, so lots of travelling around but great fun. I was really nervous but everyone was so good to me. After the first show, I knew it was what I really wanted to do. The Hope Mill is such a cool venue. The audience are really close. I still don’t know how they got that huge show in that space. Someone said Broadway had come to Manchester!
You were in the cast of Miracle on 34th Street in Liverpool, can you tell us about your time in the show?
Great fun. And the best gang of people. Two groups of kids shared the roles and we all got on. The music is so good. Backstage we would join in with all the onstage dancing. Working with Gemma Bodinetz at the Playhouse was an honour. We had such a good time.
What was it like being in a Christmas production?
We love Christmas in our house so being in such a big Christmas show was a buzz. We did one show on Christmas Eve at 10am and my mum, dad and baby sister Freya came. She usually shouts out to me but she just danced and sang along.
How was the experience on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show?
Out of this world. Filming at the London Palladium was an honour. I was nervous! I couldn’t believe I’d been asked to sing with Aled Jones. I love the show too and couldn’t believe it was going to be on on Christmas Day. So, we all sat and watched it. It was actually the first audition I did on my phone with my gran when I was rehearsing Miracle!
What was it like filming with Aled Jones and singing Walking in the Air?
He was the nicest man ever. The routine was really funny and to sing that song with him was such a thrill. So many people saw it too. The whole experience was a life highlight!
When did you get into acting and what do you remember from your first role?
I’d always sang and started going to auditions. My dad is an actor and my mum’s a dance teacher so it’s always been in my house. I had some very near misses with jobs and things really started to change after I got my agent Sarah MacDonnell. But the first role I got was Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol at Croxteth Hall when I was seven.
We understand you have dance training, which style of dance did you learn first and which style do you enjoy most?
I first learnt Tap and Modern and I think I enjoy Tap the most. I’ve gone to the Jade School of Dance since I was three and we have performed at Disneyland and at Her Majesty’s in London! The school is a big part of my life.
How do you spend your time away from performing?
Dad and I watch Everton as much as we can (home and away) and I like to play football and cricket. I love to watch theatre and we really miss it during the lockdown. But I also love my PS4!
What do you enjoy most about performing on stage?
All of it. Rehearsals, the travelling to venues and being backstage is ace.
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