So far this year, Kyle Birch has been involved with new musical In Pieces, playing the role of Austyn and he also took part in the Leave a Light On concert series with Lambert Jackson Productions and The Grad Fest, both of which were streamed online. Having graduated from London College of Music during the pandemic, Kyle has since performed in many concerts including Spooktacular, Untapped, West End Does and Spotlight on the Future, where he duetted with Lauren Drew. We spoke to Kyle, who told us about new musical In Pieces, performing in concerts and training at London College of Music.
What can you tell us about new musical In Pieces and what was it like to work on?
In Pieces explores the love and relationships of eight characters who are sharing their experiences of their chosen paths. It was such an incredible opportunity to work on this show! Each character had a beautiful, in depth arc and they were so fun to play, plus the songs are beautiful!
Was there anything that drew you to the production and the role of Austyn?
Having worked with Louis (Rayneau) previously on Spotlight on the Future, it was great to work with him again! Also, I adore Joey Contreras’ music so that played a big part in me being interested! In terms of the character Austyn, I love how vulnerable he is and how he wears his heart on his sleeve!
What have you enjoyed most about being part of the cast and musical?
Aside from the gorgeous music, it was an amazing experience to get to work with professional performers that I looked up to for a long time! When I first found out about the cast, I had an element of imposter syndrome, but the cast were nothing short of incredible and made me feel so welcome! I would work with them all again in a heartbeat!
How was it having the show streamed online and seeing the response to the streaming?
At first it was very nerve-racking because as performers, we’re used to having an audience right in front of us and seeing their live reactions. However, with streamed theatre, it’s out of our control! The response to the film has been amazing and we’ve been fortunate enough to have opened to rave reviews! After seeing the positive response, it made me feel so proud to be a part of something so special!
What was it like taking part in Leave a Light On earlier this year?
Taking part in Leave a Light On was a great opportunity! I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with The Grad Fest previously and they are such a wonderful company that have provided so many opportunities for grads during a dark time!
Since graduating during the pandemic, you’ve been involved with a number of concerts including Spotlight on the Future, A Night at the Musicals and West End Does: The Magic of Animation Unplugged, can you tell us about some of them?
Yes! I’ve been lucky enough to have taken part in quite a few concerts during the past year, all of which I’m very thankful for. West End Does was a lot of fun! I was aware of the company previously, so to get the opportunity to work with them was amazing! I only had twenty-four hours to learn my song which was a little bit stressful but it made me realise that I could work well under pressure! Also, duetting with Lauren Drew in Spotlight on the Future was absolutely surreal, her voice is INSANE and she’s the loveliest person too! I couldn’t have asked for a better duet partner!
How have you found the experience working on the concerts during COVID?
I hadn’t really done any professional concerts before so by doing these, it was a such a good gateway into the industry! I was able to meet and work with some talented people!
Last year, you were also part of Spooktacular and Untapped at the Union, can you say more about these?
Spooktacular was my introduction to The Grad Fest and the first time I got to work with them! It was a lot of fun to sing some Halloween themed songs on a stage and to meet some amazingly talented grads. I was also very lucky to be asked to take part in the very first Untapped series! It featured lots of untapped musical theatre talent from different graduate years! The talent was off the charts!
Can you tell us about training at London College of Music and what encouraged you to train there?
I did four years at the London College of Music, one year foundation and three years on the degree. LCM caters to Actor/Singers which is what I class myself as, so there was no doubt in my mind that this was the place for me! I thoroughly enjoyed my audition day and felt like I was worked on in order to produce the best work possible! Whilst there I made some incredible lifelong friends!
What are some of your highlights from your time at the college?
One of my highlights was definitely performing alongside my talented year group in our third year shows! It was something we had all been waiting for so to see it come together was definitely special!
Had you always wanted a theatre career and where does your love of performing come from?
Initially I wanted to just be a singer! When I was younger I was bought a karaoke machine and I fell in love with it! I would sing along to all the songs and put on performances for my family whenever I could! It wasn’t until secondary school where I went on a school trip to see Wicked that I fell in love with musical theatre and realised that I wanted to pursue that as a career!
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch and are there any you’d like to see that you haven’t done so as yet?
I absolute adore Once on This Island! I think it is a gorgeous show with such beautiful music. I was lucky enough to perform in a production of it a few years ago and it’s a show I’d do again in a heartbeat! I still haven’t seen SIX yet (hides in shame), I am obsessed with the soundtrack and dying to see it in real life, so that is currently at the top of my list!
How do you like to spend your time away from performing?
I’m one of those people that just enjoy singing and often sing around the house no matter what I’m doing! In my spare time, I do like to bake and hang out with friends! Baking has become a new passion of mine, especially since the pandemic started!
What are you looking forward to most for when the industry can reopen fully and do you have any plans as yet for the upcoming months?
I can’t wait to just go to the theatre, hear the orchestra warming up and be transported into another world for two-and-a-half hours. To me, there’s nothing quite like theatre, it’s so special! In terms of the future, I don’t currently have anything planned as of yet, but I hope to be performing back on a stage very soon!
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