BWW Interviews: Alex Gaumond, Emmett In LEGALLY BLONDE!
Hi Alex! I have to say, I've seen this show several times and you've been on all the time - I've seen understudies for all the other leads, but you've always been on!
Yeah, I've been very lucky with illnesses - I've had three days off sick and I've had my holiday, but apart from that I've been on since the start of the run.
Wow - so you've not picked up any bugs at the stage door with all the people you meet then?
No! I think our fans are a pretty healthy bunch!
Legally Blonde is really popular with a big passionate fanbase, and of course you came in from We Will Rock You too.
Yes, they're both huge shows and they're opening up musical theatre to a whole new audience.
And you've been in Legally Blonde for over a year now. The show has gone through several cast changes but you're still here - so you're not bored yet?!
Definitely not! It's a great part and a great show.
It's a proper sing, though...
Yes, I really get to let rip - at the end of Chip On My Shoulder I've got a really high note that wasn't in the original Broadway production; during rehearsal the MD asked me if I could get higher than it's written and I gave it a go, and it's still in now, so it's nice to have put my stamp on the song even if it's only for a couple of seconds!
As a big fan of the show I've seen Sheridan Smith and Amy Lennox play Elle opposite you - Amy seemed to play her much younger and cuter, and Sheridan's personality made her seem older. Do you adjust your portrayal of Emmett according to who you're playing alongside?
No, not really - Amy definitely played her younger, because she is younger, but I didn't make my character younger to go alongside that, although the energy is different according to who you're working with.
And now you have a new Elle - Susan McFadden. What's her Elle like?
Fantastic. She has the key ingredient for Elle - she's bubbly, she embraces life, and she doesn't think of how things will be perceived. With Sheridan came the whole territory of her TV work, and you had an audience that thought they knew her as a person. Susan doesn't have so much of that, so she has to work harder to gain people's affection, but it's great because by the end they love her. They're all brilliant at the part - it's a pleasure to play with all of them.
I'm finding it hard to imagine Susan as Elle because I loved her Serena so much! (Susan played Elle's sorority sister Serena in the original cast.)
Yeah! It's a very different role! I suppose with Serena she's clearly a California girl, so you can see how that would translate, but come see it!
I shall! So are you in for another year?
I'm here until April-ish, and we'll see what happens in the next few weeks...
OK, so we'll watch this space. You've been doing your own cabaret gigs recently, haven't you?
Yes! I'm trying to pursue the music. I write, and I started off as a piano player when I was young before moving into singing and training as an actor. Musical theatre is great and I love it and it's certainly going well for me, but I'm writing for a potential album and I'd love to get a record deal. I did my first-ever solo concert at LauderDale House, and we're hoping to do another one in spring. This time, I hope to have more of a band - LauderDale House is more acoustic and I had to choose material to suit that environment, so this time perhaps it'll be pop- or rock-based.
How do you go about devising a setlist?
I had SO much fun. I had to eliminate anything that wasn't acoustic, but I didn't want to just do musical theatre. I love Michael Buble, I got in some jazz standards, and I threw in a little French song for good measure. This next one, I love devising something with an arc, mixing it with humour, and making sure I'm not just doing big songs without light and shade. It's quite tricky. So I start out with a load of songs and narrow it down, and try to find a personal connection with everything.
And the album - will that be your own stuff or some standards?
I imagine I'll do some covers and then some self-written stuff, and some original songs by other people. The only thing I want is to do something I'm proud of. I don't want something for the sake of having an album. Whenever I do a cover, I try to do a different interpretation. I've never wanted a carbon copy. I want it all to make sense within the realm of who I am.
Alex Gaumond plays Emmett in Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre.