With Ain’t Too Proud currently open at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, Sifiso Mazibuko is playing Otis Williams in the original West End cast alongside his fellow Temptations Cameron Bernard Jones, Kyle Cox, Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Mitchell Zhangazha. The West End premiere of the musical based on the journey of The Temptations will be closing next month, with Sifiso continuing in the musical until the final date of 17th September. During his time as a performer so far, Sifiso’s roles have included him playing Aaron Burr in Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Chatting to Sifiso, he talks about being in the original West End cast of Ain’t Too Proud, what he’s looking forward to for continuing his role of Otis Williams and being cast as Aaron Burr in Hamilton.
In the original West End cast of Ain’t Too Proud, you portray Otis Williams, how has it been performing the role so far?
Performing this role has been amazing thus far. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of dancing as much as I do as well as telling Otis’s incredible story.
It is a joy performing alongside these amazing talents. We’ve become our own Temptations per se, and everyone does such an incredible job telling the story of the person they’re portraying. I’m in awe of each of them.
What is it like performing the music and choreography?
It is exhilarating and frightening at the same time!!! The choreography is masterful in that it elevates the music of The Temptations that’s already iconic.
How was it preparing to open in the West End premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre?
That was a very busy time for us at the Prince Edward. The night felt like a triumph because we were able to present this story to the world on this side of the Atlantic. We had very special guests in to see the show that night, which made it even more of a special evening.
Who do you think will enjoy watching Ain’t Too Proud and why would you recommend booking tickets?
Everyone will enjoy this show. Everyone! All ages and all demographics. It is a slick, fast-paced joy ride with heart. The choreography is brilliant and the show stands out as a homage to a very great musical group that’s still going today!
How is it seeing the audience response to the show?
It is always humbling to see the response the show gets. I don’t think most people know what to expect when they come to see the show and so when the show comes to an end it is evident that the story surpasses people’s expectations, which is very moving to see.
Having performed in shows including Hamilton as Aaron Burr, can you tell us about some of your stand-out highlights from your theatre career so far?
Yes, Aaron Burr was most certainly a highlight. Although Otis Williams has become the biggest highlight because of the driver’s seat I get to be in with this show!
Where does your love of acting come from and do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch?
My love for acting comes from my childhood and being in awe of films I watched as a child early on. That was spurred on by my involvement in music and theatre in school and then I went on to train in musical theatre and acting after that. I’m a fan of grand, classic musicals so The Phantom of the Opera is always a treat for me to watch.
Is there anything you are looking forward to most for continuing your run as Otis Williams in Ain’t Too Proud?
I enjoy being able to honour the real-life Otis Williams. So my job now for the rest of the run is to keep on honouring this man’s story as best I can.
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