It has been announced that Dylan Trigger will be performing at the National Theatre starting this November in the Roald Dahl musical adaptation of The Witches, with the show currently booking until 2024. Earlier this month, Dylan finished his run as Friedrich in The Sound of Music at the Chichester Festival Theatre alongside a cast including Gina Beck as Maria and Edward Harrison as Captain von Trapp, and Dylan made his professional stage debut last year in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat UK Tour. Answering our questions, Dylan chats about being announced for The Witches at the National Theatre, performing as Friedrich in The Sound of Music over the summer and his professional stage debut in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
You’ve been announced for the cast of The Witches, which is opening at the National Theatre in November, what are you looking forward to for the run?
I am really looking forward to performing in the Olivier Theatre, it’s such an iconic venue. I recently went to watch The Odyssey there and it was amazing to think that I would be performing on that very same stage. As for the show itself, I’m not going to give away any spoilers but all I will say is that it is awesome, especially the songs.
How are rehearsals going so far and how was it meeting the rest of the cast for the first time?
Rehearsals have been really enjoyable. Everyone has been so friendly. The cast were all as excited as I was to start working on the show and to bring it to life. The rehearsals have been full of energy. We all share a passion for musical theatre so the whole cast bonded very quickly. There are a big group of children in the show, which makes it even more fun.
How much did you know about The Witches before auditioning and have you read any of Roald Dahl’s books?
I read The Witches in Year Five and I loved it. I have also read most of Roald Dahl’s other children’s books, my favourites including James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits. I have also visited The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden. I think there may even be a picture of me somewhere on the internet where I’m dressed as Charlie Bucket when visiting the museum for its celebration of the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Who do you think will enjoy watching The Witches at the National Theatre?
I genuinely think there is something in the show for everyone, adults and children alike. The show is hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing at some parts during the rehearsals. There is, however, a recommendation that the show is for those aged eight and over.
Earlier this month, you finished your run as Friedrich in The Sound of Music at the Chichester Festival Theatre, what was the character like to play?
Friedrich was a complex character to play. He starts off as a really shy boy who is not sure how to live up to his father’s expectations of how to be a man. However, as the story develops, he slowly builds his confidence with the help of Maria. By the end, he is able to help his family flee over the mountains to safety. It was a difficult yet rewarding character to play.
Do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role of Friedrich, and what drew you to the role?
When I found out that I had got the part of Friedrich, I ran around the house screaming with joy. I was super excited. However, I think my mum may have been even more excited than me. Mum grew up on the film of The Sound of Music and she always watches it whenever it is on TV. I won’t embarrass her by saying how many times she watched the show in Chichester.
I was drawn to the role of Friedrich partly because of his interesting story and partly because I thought acting as part of a family with lots of other children would be a great experience.
How was it performing the music and choreography and did you have a favourite song in the musical?
The music was very challenging. There were a lot of three-part harmonies to learn. However, it came together and sounded wonderful in the end. We worked with a fantastic music director, Matt Samer, who was very particular about the sound he wanted but he was also a lot of fun. The choreography, created by Lizzi Gee, was also great to perform but it was physically demanding. In The Lonely Goatherd number, we had to move quickly around the stage whilst using lots of props to act out the song. It was really fast-paced.
My favourite song was So Long, Farewell. I had to sing the long, high note whilst running across the stage and it was an incredible feeling each time I hit it.
What was it like acting alongside Gina Beck (as Maria) and the rest of the von Trapp family?
It was a privilege to work alongside not only Gina Beck, who is supremely talented and very kind, but also Ed Harrison, who did an amazing job playing the Captain. They were really supportive of me and I learned a lot from watching them perform.
Lauren Conroy, who played Liesel, was the best on-stage big sister I could have wished for. She is really funny and would always make me laugh by pulling a Cheshire Cat grin when we performed So Long, Farewell. She is also an excellent singer.
I was part of the Green Team who played the rest of the von Trapp children. Each member of our team is so talented in their own right. We got on so well off stage, which really helped with our on stage chemistry. We were like family throughout the summer both on and off the stage.
What do you think you’ll miss most about playing Friedrich and working at the Chichester Festival Theatre?
I will miss the show itself the most. Adam Penford did an excellent job in directing the show. The show was emotional to perform, but was filled with many funny and uplifting moments. Adam’s vision was clear from rehearsals, and he always delivered this with a great sense of humour. He used to joke that he would sack me if I laughed in the children’s opening scene when we all had to be serious and disciplined. It is a miracle that I actually made it to the end of the run!
I will definitely miss the friends that I have made and being part of whole The Sound of Music family.
How did you find the experience making your professional stage debut in the UK Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last year?
I can’t believe it happened. It was all a bit of a whirlwind. I was asked to send a self-tape in for an unnamed musical on the Thursday, I auditioned on the Monday and was told that I had the part by the following Saturday. It was the first self-tape that I had ever submitted. As soon as I got on stage on that first night in front of a large audience, I knew that performing and being on stage was what I wanted to do.
The Joseph tour was the first time that I had been away from home for any significant length of time so it was a real adventure. I got to visit and perform in lots of cities, which was exciting. The cast was also partly made up of a large group of children so we shared lots of laughs – I made some lifelong friends during this show. Joseph will always have a special place in my heart.
What was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat like to be part of and how was it seeing the audience response to the show?
Joseph was an incredible show to be a part of. It was high energy, with lots of upbeat songs and clever choreography. I played Judah, one of Joseph’s brothers. It was an incredible role. As part of this role, I had my own solo at the start of Benjamin’s Calypso, followed by my own dance break, which I performed alongside the incredibly talented Shane Whitely and Alexandra Burke. I loved that part of the show.
The atmosphere at each venue was electric, but my favourite venue was the Bristol Hippodrome. It was the first venue that I performed at and the audience reaction was extraordinary there in every show.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
My sister attended a local drama school run by Paul Taylor-Mills, the producer of Heathers. Being the younger brother, I obviously wanted to do what she was doing and asked to join. Paul generously agreed. I was the youngest child there by miles but it was a great experience. We would spend an hour singing, dancing and acting and at the end of each term we would perform a show or routine. I can still remember the oversized gold sequinned blazer that I wore when I played Freddy in our production of School of Rock. I fell in love with acting and performing and have never looked back since.
What are some of your favourite theatre shows to watch?
I love going to the theatre and I always find it hard to list my favourites. However, if I had to choose, I would list my top three shows as Hamilton, Wicked and SIX.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to watch and play cricket. I support Surrey CCC and the Oval Invincibles. I am a member at the Oval and try to get there to watch cricket whenever I can. I also enjoy watching Formula 1 and playing on my PlayStation. Just in case any of my music teachers are reading this – I would add that I also spend my time practicing my violin and piano daily… honest!
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