Alex Charles is currently making his West End debut performing as Giulio in the original West End cast of Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Savoy Theatre, which is currently booking until 28th January 2023. Previously, Alex was in the German premiere of Take That/Tim Firth’s production of The Band Musical as one of the band members, made his adult professional debut in Horsham’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Capitol Theatre and, as a child actor, he was part of the Oliver! Tour. We recently caught up with Alex, who told us about playing Giulio in Pretty Woman: The Musical, making his West End debut with the show at the Savoy Theatre and performing in The Band Musical for the German premiere.
You are part of the original West End cast of Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Savoy Theatre, how did it feel booking your role?
It was a dream come true, I never thought I’d be where I am in my career so soon and that’s all help and thanks to the support around me – my family, agents and friends. Stepping on that stage making my debut made all that hard work over the years worth it.
What is Guilio like to play and was there anything that drew you to the show?
I was lucky enough to see the show in Germany, so got a glimpse of the character. He’s a young, innocent, excited boy and, though he maybe not have a lot to say, his expressions say more. Growing up watching the likes of Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams and Donald O’Connor, I always loved the over expressive characters so was automatically drawn to Guilio.
How is it making your West End debut in Pretty Woman: The Musical and working alongside the rest of the cast?
Working in any West End company is incredible, however, I am lucky to have a cast who are more like a family and they are always there when you have a question or need help in anyway.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from your time in the show so far?
My stand-out moment has to be the first opening night and the amazing reviews we got as a show, as well as some personal reviews, which I was so grateful for.
Is there anything you enjoy most about performing in a West End production and why would you recommend booking tickets for the musical?
Just the sound of the audience every night, when the music starts, it erupts in the theatre. Our show is doing so well, not only because it’s a great score and book, but because it’s a party on stage, and after the few years we’ve had, people need to escape and just immerse themselves into another world and party.
What are you looking forward to most for continuing your run at the Savoy Theatre?
I’m looking forward to some of the new cast coming in as that adds a new dynamic and energy and, of course, wish the members (some who have been with us from the beginning) all the best for their own paths.
In 2019, you were in the German premiere of The Band Musical, can you tell us what this was like to do?
Germany was such a great experience and I learnt so much about myself and my craft.
How much did you know about the musical before booking the role and what do you remember most from opening night?
I went to watch The Band in Woking when I found out I was to be in it and loved the timeless music but even more the story about friendship and how music supports us through hard times.
What was the audience response like to the musical and how did you find the experience of performing in Germany?
Wherever you go there will always be fans of Take That, they are global and this was no different. Audiences loved it and, within this show, I feel many people can relate to certain characters.
Can you tell us about being in the cast of Sleeping Beauty at The Capitol Theatre and did you have a favourite aspect of being in a pantomime?
Sleeping Beauty was great and my first adult experience as a performer. I’ve loved panto from such a young age growing up with it and love to inspire young audience members with probably their first look at theatre.
As a child actor, you toured with Oliver!, what are some of your favourite memories from this experience?
Oliver! is something I’ll never forgot and it moulded me so much. I learnt so much and met so many people. I loved performing with a bunch of lovely kids and, being one of the oldest kids in the gang, I loved looking after everyone.
Was there anything that drew you to train at The Urdang Academy and can you say about your time there?
I auditioned to a couple of other schools but as soon as I stepped into Urdang, it felt like home.
Where does your love of performing come from and how did you start?
No one in my family is very theatrical, however, my grandad was such a big inspiration to me and we used to watch all the classics together – Singin’ in the Rain, Mary Poppins and even Al Jolson. He was larger than life and I thank him for everything he passed down.
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch and which would you like to see that you haven’t done so as yet?
My go-to theatre films are Aladdin for the story and just because Robin Williams is a genius, Moulin Rouge! for the beautiful story of life, and Singin’ in the Rain because Gene Kelly is a hero.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I mainly love to spend my time surrounded with family and supporting the best in London – Chelsea.
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