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BWW Interview: Rob Houchen Chats CITY OF ANGELS

City of Angels
Rob Houchen in rehearsal
for City of Angels

Last year, Rob Houchen was seen on both sides of the Atlantic in The Light in the Piazza, and returned to the role of Marius in Les Miserables: The Staged Concert at the Gielgud Theatre. He's also part of the team behind the successful West End Does concert series.

Rob spoke to BroadwayWorld about his career and his most recent role in the anticipated West End transfer of the Olivier Award-winning production City of Angels, now in previews at the Garrick Theatre.

You've had a busy couple of years! How have you found the juggling act?

It's been busy but great! I feel very lucky to have been able to do two such amazing jobs and then go onto this brilliant show.

How did you find it heading over to the States to reprise your performance of Fabrizio?

I loved being able to play the role again, and to an American audience. American audiences can be different sometimes: laughs can come at different points, and the volume of reaction as well, but they loved the show just as much as London did.

What was your favourite thing about returning to the barricades in Les Mis: The Staged Concert?

Returning to Les Mis was so special. It was my first job in a musical and it warmed my heart to be around such great old friends and make new family doing that show again.

What excites you most about being part of City of Angels?

I saw the show at The Donmar Warehouse and it blew me away. The class, the talent, the direction... When I heard it was coming back and they had a role I would fit, I jumped at the chance!

Why do you think 2020 is the time to revive it?

The musical itself never gets old: it's witty and beautifully written. It's also going to make people smile in a time that I think it's really needed. Audiences can expect class, class, class! The story is fun and clever, performed by an incredible cast brimming with talent.

City of Angels
Nicola Roberts and Vanessa Williams
in rehearsal for City of Angels

How do you think you'll find juggling your two roles in the parallel movie/real-world narratives?

I have it easier than many people - there's a clear definition between my roles of Jimmy Mandril and Dr Powers. It's fun to get to play both. They're very different characters.

Your West End Does concerts are also a hit! What did you enjoy most about West End Does: Love?

I love working as part of Forty Four Productions and putting on the West End Does concerts. The fact people love them too is so brilliant. West End Does: Love, most recently, was a massive hit, and I had an absolute blast performing myself this time and singing some really cool songs.

What advice would you have given yourself five years ago?

I think I would have just rallied myself with encouragement to do whatever I wanted and feel free to live, dream and have adventures as I have. We all need a little cheer from the sidelines now and then.

Any other projects you'd like to tell us about?

I can't say anything just yet!

Why should people come to City of Angels?

It's full of incredible actors who will perform this funny and classy musical to such an amazing standard that it's impossible not to enjoy yourself.

Rob Houchen in City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre until 5 September

Photography credit: Johan Persson

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