Having made their West End debut last year with Mischief in Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre, Scott Hunter has since joined the cast of The Play That Goes Wrong earlier this year, playing Max in the show, which is booking into 2023 at the Duchess Theatre. In 2018, Scott won a Manchester Theatre Award for their time in Yank! The Musical, and they performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in Cruel Intentions. Answering our questions, Scott talked to us about joining the West End cast of The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre, making their West End debut last year in Magic Goes Wrong and what they’re looking forward to for continuing their run with Mischief.
You joined the cast of The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre in the West End earlier this year, what is the show like to be part of?
The show is an absolute hoot to be a part of. We laugh every single day and so do the audience, we are so lucky in that sense. Being a part of such a long-standing show, there’s a devoted fan base and there’s always support from the audiences which creates such a great transfer of energy from us to them and from them to us.
What is Max like to play and what was the character like to rehearse for?
I feel like I am the luckiest actor in the world playing Max because I get to throw away all the formalities of live theatre. Max is new to Cornley and performing, and has never been in front of an audience before. The moment Max feels that electricity from them, there’s a transformation. Max adores the audience and makes sure they know that, so for me it’s just pure joy to build that relationship every night. Rehearsing Max is a slightly different journey as the part is very physical. However, we have so much support to aid those moments as well as so much breadth of freedom to explore how you want to play Max and to ‘find your funny’.
Was there anything that drew you to the production and how are you finding the experience being in the cast?
I had been a fan of Mischief since I saw the original cast in The Play That Goes Wrong, but having trained in musical theatre I didn’t necessarily entertain the notion that I’d ever be in it. Now, being in the cast and having done two Mischief shows, I realise the style of comedy as well as the precision of the show was extremely attractive to me. I think my experience with the structure of music and choreography has been a useful and transferable skill to take into my career with Mischief.
The Play That Goes Wrong is the longest-running comedy in the West End, why do you think it has kept its popularity over the years?
It’s a wonderfully multi-generational show. For people my age and upwards, it’s slightly nostalgic and harkens back to comedy classics like Fawlty Towers. However, at the younger end of the age bracket, the physical comedy is so palatable and entertaining. Families come time and time again, sometimes handing the show down to the younger generations. It’s quite special.
The show is currently booking until 2023, why would you recommend booking tickets?
Whether it’s your first trip to the theatre or you are a regular, seasoned Theatre-Goer-Officianado there is something in this show for everyone. You may relate to these characters, you may recognise those moments of terror or humiliation when something goes wrong and hey, you may even respect the absolute beast of a show this is. No matter what, you’ll leave the theatre entertained, and maybe relieved having spent two hours watching other people deal with mishaps rather than yourself!
You previously made your West End debut in Magic Goes Wrong last year, can you tell us about your time in the show and how was it making your West End debut with Mischief?
There are certain sound bites I end up repeating when people ask me about Magic Goes Wrong and my experience within it and they remain potent and true still. It is the gift that keeps on giving. It gave me a moment in my life where I could look back at all the work and see a concrete culmination that it was worth it. It gave me an education into comedy, something I never considered I’d be very great at. It has given me friends, professional relationships and a security I had seldom experienced in my professional life. Once again, it was pure joy and I am endlessly grateful for it. I was also making my West End debut as an openly non-binary performer in Mischief’s first non-binary role. That magic, for want of a less cliché phrase, has never been lost on me. All that AND I got to work with Nancy Zamit and Henry Lewis?! For me, it’s a wow.
Do you have any stand-out highlights from being in the cast of Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre?
I think being surrounded by such comedically gifted people was such a privilege and specifically sharing a floor with such funny women is a true highlight for me. Nancy Zamit, Louise Beresford Carter, Jane Milligan (proud daughter of the legendary Spike Milligan), Genevieve Nicole and Steph De Whalley have all been such important people in my life since.
What do you enjoy most about performing in a Mischief show?
The freedom. There is such precision and technique in so many aspects of their shows and that appeals to the side of me that will always be a musical theatre baby through and through, but there is an ownership we are given to these roles which I think is so rare in a long-standing show. My Max is different to Dave Hearn’s (who originated the role) and is different to Charlie Richards’, who covers Max (and is wonderfully hilarious and excellent), and each iteration of each character is so varied because we are given the chance to infuse our own humour into it.
What are some of your favourite memories of your acting career so far?
Winning a Manchester Theatre Award for Yank! The Musical in 2018. Again, it was a moment of clarity and culmination on the work I put into this career. Of course, making my West End debut in Magic Goes Wrong. Another would be sitting in a salon chair for eight hours having my dark brown hair dyed bleach blond for Cruel Intentions, which I did up at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. Nothing says career highlight like the smell of peroxide and a burning scalp.
Had you always wanted a theatre career and how did you start in the industry?
I always wanted a career in performance and the arts. First, I wanted to direct music videos, which came on when I saw the video for Waterfalls by TLC (sublime song, sublime group!). Then I decided I’d work on fight choreography for Martial Arts films because I loved and still love Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragons. Still, to this day, I’d love to reconnect with Martial Arts and give it a go. Then, eventually, I discovered theatre and fell immediately in love. From then on, it was amateur dramatics every weekend, drama and theatre studies at school as well as the school plays and then onto Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts training in Musical Theatre. I suppose that’s the short version of how I got my start.
How do you like to spend your free time and do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch?
In my free time, I am trying to get better at resting because I’ve realised just how important it is for all of us. I keep to a gym plan which really helps my focus and stress relief. I also have begun writing because you’re not an actor if you’re not also writing something that you can write yourself into.
What are you looking forward to as you continue your role of Max in The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre?
I’m looking forward to more discoveries, more laughter and more things going wrong!
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