With Legally Blonde set to open at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on 13th May, Liam McEvoy is in rehearsals to play Bruiser/Ensemble, with which he’ll be directed by Lucy Moss for his professional musical debut. Having performed in a number of pantomimes, Liam returned to theatre for the first time after lockdown and graduating from Laine Theatre Arts for last year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk in Swindon. Liam has filmed commercials including for Sainsbury’s, and at 12 years old, he performed in Dublin on the UK and Ireland Tour of Oliver!. Speaking to Liam, he talks about making his professional musical debut in Legally Blonde, preparing to open at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and performing in pantomimes.
You’re making your professional musical debut in the upcoming production of Legally Blonde at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, how did it feel booking your role?
I was over the moon! Legally Blonde is one of my favourite musicals but I never even thought of being in it because I didn’t know who I’d play so that made it even more special. I cried when my agent told me but then I was just in shock for the rest of the day.
Was there anything that originally drew you to the production and how much did you know about the musical before auditioning?
I was meant to work with Lucy Moss on a project when I was in third year at college but it never happened due to COVID so when I found out Lucy was directing this production I was so excited! I knew the musical very well before auditioning! I’ve watched the MTV recording of it so many times on YouTube and the Search for Elle Woods is iconic. I’ve been dancing to the soundtrack of Legally Blonde since I was a kid in dance school at home in Dublin.
What was it like reading the script and meeting the rest of the cast for the first time?
Meeting the rest of the cast for the first time was amazing! They are a beautiful bunch of people and I feel so lucky to be working alongside each of them. I have already learned so much from them! Our first read-through was so much fun. That was the moment I realised I was actually going to be in Legally Blonde!
How are rehearsals going so far as Bruiser/Ensemble?
Rehearsals have been amazing so far! I am having so much fun exploring Bruiser’s character and bringing him to life! I was nervous at first but the cast and creatives are so supportive. The ensemble numbers in this show are also so much fun because there are so many different characters within the ensemble and it’s really a chance to be whoever we want to be in the world.
What are you looking forward to most for the run at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and how do you think you’ll feel on the opening performance?
I’m most looking forward to all my family and friends to come and watch the show! Their love and support is the reason I am even in the show so I can’t wait for them to watch. I will be very nervous on the opening performance but most of all I’ll be excited! I’ve dreamed of being in a musical like this my whole life so it will feel very surreal.
Why would you recommend booking tickets for the musical?
I would recommend booking tickets because this is Legally Blonde like you’ve never seen it before! The show has a new life to it and it’s a breath of fresh air! This cast is also insanely talented.
Can you tell us about performing in Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty and The Wizard of Oz?
Performing in pantomimes over the last few years has been so much fun! The cast become your family over the Christmas period and I’ve met friends for life. I was lucky enough to do panto in my second and third year at college which really taught me so much about working professionally. Jack and the Beanstalk was special to me because it was my first time back performing after all the lockdowns and it was my first job since graduating.
We understand you were in the UK and Ireland Tour of Oliver!, what was this like?
I was in Oliver! when it was on tour in Dublin. I was 12 and it was the most amazing experience. I remember the cast being so kind (especially Samantha Barks). I felt like a celebrity getting to leave school early for rehearsals. It was also the show that showed me I could perform for a living.
Where does your love of theatre come from and how did you start?
I did Irish dancing when I was four and I loved the feeling of dancing on a stage. But I started musical theatre when I was seven at Steptacular Performing Arts and that is where I fell in love with musicals. Whenever the shows came on tour to Dublin, my mam would take me and we would wait at the stage door to meet the cast every time. I am so thankful for all my training I got at home in Dublin.
Was there anything that encouraged you to train at Laine Theatre Arts and how was your time there?
My dance teacher Nicole McDonald trained at Laine which is how I heard of it. I knew it was where I wanted to train the minute I stepped foot into my audition. I had the best three years training there! I made friends for life and the training is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.
How do you find the experience working on commercials such as the Sainsbury’s Social Media commercial?
Working on the Sainsbury’s commercial was so fun! It was all socially distanced and it was recorded from my flat so I felt really comfortable.
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch and which would you like to see that you haven’t done so as yet?
I love watching shows like Kinky Boots and Hairspray. The energy and passion really stood out to me when I watched them. I haven’t seen Cabaret yet but I am dying to see it! It sounds incredible.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I love spending time with my friends, watching drag shows and rollerblading. My favourite thing to do is fly home to Dublin and spend time with my family and friends.
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