With the world premiere of new musical Back to the Future launching at Manchester Opera House in February this year, Nathanael Landskroner was in the original cast as Swing and Assistant Dance Captain before theatres and productions closed down until further notice only a few weeks after the musical opened. Nathanael toured the UK as Craig in An Officer and a Gentleman in 2018, having previously performed internationally with Legally Blonde as Aaron Schultz, and Grease as Doody, which he booked as his first professional role after performing in shows with National Youth Music Theatre. As a singer, Nathanael often performs at concerts and live events, and also uploads covers to his social media platforms. We recently talked to Nathanael about performing in Back to the Future, touring as Craig in An Officer and a Gentleman and making his professional debut in Grease.
What was it like booking your role as Swing in the world premiere of Back to the Future and what drew you to the production?
When I got the call from my agent, I was over the moon to get the news that I had been offered Swing and Assistant Dance Captain for Back to the Future the Musical. I was always a huge fan of the original movies so when the audition came through, I was so excited and was really keen to be a part of the process.
As Swing, did you get chance to cover any of the roles before the show had to close for lockdown?
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to make my debut in the show before it was closed due to COVID-19. This was also my first time being a Swing so it was a completely new challenge for me. The track I covered was for one of Biff’s goons called Visor/featured ensemble. Before the show started, I had to take a moment to think about what was going to happen and as soon as the curtain went up I had a moment of overwhelming joy as it was my first time on stage performing this year.
Can you tell us about your time as Assistant Dance Captain and how was it preparing for the show?
I really enjoyed being the Assistant Dance Captain on this show. Working alongside the amazing Chris Bailey, Darren Carnall and Laura Mullowney was such an amazing experience for me as this was my first time doing something like this. I was nervous going into rehearsals however the creative team and cast made me feel very much at home and really helped me to get started.
The cast appeared on BBC Sport Relief, what was this like to do?
Appearing on BBC Sport Relief was such a fun experience. Again, this was my first time on Sport Relief, so while preparing, I was interested to find out how different it would be to just performing on stage. Apart from the set and a few other things being slightly different, it’s amazing how much it felt like a normal show!
How was it filming the special rock ‘n’ roll home edition of Power of Love with the rest of the cast?
Filming our version of Power of Love from home was a lovely way for all the cast and band to get back into the Back to the Future spirit.
What was Craig like to play in the UK Tour of An Officer and a Gentleman?
When I played Craig in An Officer and a Gentlemen UK tour, it was my first time doing a tour. There is a fight scene in the show where Craig gets beaten up by Zack Mayo. This meant doing a fight call every day after warm up just to make sure everyone was safe.
How was the experience touring with the show?
Touring was something I found very hard. We were in a different venue every week up and down the country so this meant never truly settling in one place. However, the team behind Officer did help a lot with giving us time to travel and making sure we were all well and rested before we performed.
Can you tell us about playing Nephew Harry and Young Scrooge in Scrooge the Musical at Leicester Curve?
When I played Nephew Harry and Young Scrooge, I had the privilege of working very closely with some amazing people. The show was done and interpreted on a scale that I had never seen done before which made it very special.
What was it like performing over Christmas at Leicester?
Fortunately, over Christmas, I have had the joy of performing at the Leicester Curve Theatre on two different occasions. This made being away from home over the holiday period a lot easier as everyone at the Curve made you feel very much at home and part of a family. I owe a lot to Curve and the sensational work they do there day in, day out.
You played Aaron Schultz in the International Tour of Legally Blonde, how was this?
Legally Blonde is one of my favourite shows so getting to play Aaron Schultz was a great opportunity to experience the show for the first time. The show itself is just pure fun which really makes you forget that it is actually a job, and I am incredibly grateful that I was a part of it.
For your first professional stage role, you played Doody in Grease, can you tell us about the experience of playing the character and performing internationally for the first time?
Doody in Grease holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first professional job/role and still holds some of my best memories to date. Working with Nikolai Foster on bringing this character to life was definitely a big highlight for me as I was given great notes but also given freedom to make the character in a way that felt right for me. This gave the show a fresh feel and allowed us to discover more about the characters as the run progressed. When the show went to Dubai, it was my first time performing abroad. The reception we got was so fantastic and honestly made me feel like a star while doing the show. It was a life-changing experience for me.
Having been part of NYMT, can you tell us more about your time with them?
NYMT are an amazing musical theatre company which gives young actors a chance to work and train with some amazing industry professionals. I did three different musicals with them and loved every second of each one. It’s not just the amazing training that you get that makes it so special, it’s also the friends you make along the way. You are paired with very like-minded people who share common goals and interests so there is always lots to talk about and do!
Where does your love of musical theatre come from and how did you get into it for your career?
My love of musical theatre comes from when I was five years old. I joined my local stage school (ACT TOO) and my passion grew from there. However, it became my career after my final show with NYMT (Spring Awakening) which was, again, with Nikolai Foster. After the show, I was fortunate to receive an offer for Doody in Grease.
As a singer, what do you enjoy most about recording covers for social media and what are some of your most recent concerts you’ve performed at?
I love recording covers to put on social media. I feel it’s a great way to express yourself and show people what you can do. Before Back to the Future and lockdown, I was performing in local clubs which I do really enjoy. When doing this sort of gig, you have an intimacy with an audience and provides a completely different experience.
What theatre shows have you seen in the past year that you’d recommend?
The last few shows that I have seen were amazing. To name a few – & Juliet, West Side Story and Heathers. All of these shows felt so current and told such important messages that resonated with every member of the audience. I would love to see these shows again after lockdown ends and normality resumes.
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