BWW Interviews: Liam Mower in Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY
SLEEPING BEAUTY, a lavish spectacular production by New Adventures, directed and choreographed by British artist and Tony Award winner, Matthew Bourne, is coming to Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, November 5-20, 2013. Tickets at Blumenthal Box Office: 704-372-1000 and CarlolinaTix.org.
I caught up with SLEEPING BEAUTY dancer, Liam Mower, as he was in New York on tour with the production. Mower, a Brittish native and an incredible talent, was comfortably lounging in his hotel room with room service paying a visit, as we spoke.
LAW: How have the performances in New York been going?
LM: It's been fantastic and amazing. The audiences are wonderful. This is the third time I've been to NYC. I feel very comfortable.
LAW: Tell me about your childhood. Where were you born?
LM: Hull. It's a small town in East Yorkshire, England.
LAW: When did you start dancing?
LM: I started dancing at the age-of-nine. At first, it was a hobby.
LAW: How did you get the role of Billy Eliot?
LM: I was in a dance school in Hull and my dance teacher told me there was a national search for BILLY ELIOT. I had seen the movie, so I knew what it was about. The casting director came to Hull and I auditioned. I had 8 auditions in London over the next year. Every time I went to a callback, the group of boys [auditioning] kept getting smaller and smaller.
LAW: How did you feel going to 8 callbacks? Was that nerve-racking?
LM: I took it all in stride, but I really wanted the role. BILLY ELIOT played at Victoria Palace in London for 18 months.
LAW: Where did you go to school?
LM: I attended the equivalent of [US] high school at Archbishop Thurstan and I also attendEd Royal Ballet in London when I was 12-years-old, while performing in BILLY ELIOT.
LAW: What was your most memorable experience dancing?
LM: Um.... I was never asked that.... Performing at the Coliseum Theater for the Queen and Prince Charles. That was very memorable.
LAW: How did you get cast in SLEEPING BEAUTY?
LM: I was training, taking ballet and contemporary dance. I attended the annual auditions for New Adventures, Matthew Bourne's company. He was casting for the NUTCRACKER. There were so many people auditioning, I thought, I don't have a good feeling about this. Matt [Bourne] called a few days later with a contract, and I was absolutely thrilled to be cast.
LAW: What is the name of your character in SLEEPING BEAUTY?
LM: I play the Tantrum Fairy and Count Lilac.
LAW: What do you think of your characters?
LM: The fairy has different personalities, sometimes cheeky. And Count Lilac is fun to do. He's a gothic, dark, mysterious character. He's a leader and he guides Leo to Sleeping Beauty. Count Lilac gives Leo eternal life.
LAW: How long have you been on tour?
LM: We performed 8 months in the UK. We also went to Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Moscow. We arrived in the US [on] September 22nd.
LAW: What's been the best experience being on tour?
LM: The audiences have been amazing, and traveling with friends.
LAW: What's been the worst?
LM: Worst?... Trains being cancelled.
LAW: What do you think the audience will take away from this theater experience?
LM: This is a different version of SLEEPING BEAUTY. Different than what has been seen before. Matt, Matthew Bourne is a storyteller. It's relatable to people. He takes you through the story and it's cast fantastic. It appeals to a wide range, [from] children to elderly. Everyone will love it! ( Laughs) I'm lucky, I love what I do.