AS DANNY MAC is aware of, being a younger actor can have its difficulties. Aged ten, he gained his first skilled function in a manufacturing of Les Misérables. However whereas he had the ‘finest time ever going to work’, again in school, he was bullied for his success: ‘so I simply by no means informed anybody [what I was doing],’ he remembers.
Twenty-two years on, although, and he has undoubtedly had the final snort. After career-making stints on the Channel four cleaning soap Hollyoaks and BBC juggernaut Strictly Come Dancing, he’s now one in every of our hottest new theatre stars, who has confirmed he can act, sing and dance with equal gusto. And his newest stage function is his most high-profile but: the male lead within the UK premiere of Fairly Lady: The Musical.
Danny jumped on the likelihood to look on this theatrical tackle the traditional rom-com in regards to the relationship between a name woman, Vivian (Aimie Atkinson), and Edward, the wealthy playboy who pays her to be his escort for the week — just for them to fall in love.
He admits it has been formidable to comply with within the footsteps of the 1990 movie’s star Richard Gere.However on the similar time, he has loved the problem of getting his head round a personality who, beneath his beauty, is a troubled and enigmatic soul. ‘Within the film, he says little or no, and loads of what he does say is simply together with his eyes. On this, we’ve acquired nice songs that give us a fundamental perception into how he’s pondering and feeling in moments. However as an actor, it’s about making an attempt to fill these gaps when he’s not singing with intent and objective.’
The Fairly Lady story is a doubtlessly controversial one to be revisiting, given the criticism the movie has acquired over time for being anti-feminist and romanticising the thought of a intercourse employee being ‘redeemed’ by one in every of their purchasers. Danny says such conversations have ‘undoubtedly been on the minds of everybody that’s making the piece’, but in addition hopes that the manufacturing makes clear who the true saviour is. ‘Vivian’s already an excellent individual originally of the story, she’s simply in unlucky circumstances, whereas Edward isn’t. He’s the one who has to make the most important change. Vivian isn’t saved by a prince, she saves a prince.’
Danny’s path into appearing was considerably unplanned, starting when he casually joined as much as a Saturday drama college as a small baby.
‘It was extra like a daycare. It was fairly dangerous,’ he says. ‘However [because of it] I acquired referred to as as much as auditions.’
A yr or so into his time there, he landed the a part of Gavroche in Les Misérables — and his thoughts was made up. ‘You’re surrounded by women and men who’re all going to work to sing and also you assume, “I can do that. That is an precise job”. Then I checked out my mother and father — my mum was a nurse and my dad ran a fruit-and-vegetable enterprise — and I believed, “I don’t ever wish to work that onerous for that little cash,”’ he notes, wryly.
After going to drama college, Danny landed the a part of Dodger Savage in Hollyoaks, turning into one of many present’s hottest characters. In addition to being ‘a crash course in telly appearing’, the cleaning soap additionally turned him into one thing of a heartthrob, and he picked up quite a few ‘Sexiest Male’ awards throughout his four-year stint.
However whereas that side of the expertise was actually surreal, he was pleased to embrace it, he says. ‘The perfect factor about it was, it acquired me extra episodes. Primarily, it’s a reputation contest and if you happen to’re a well-liked character, then they’ll put you within the present extra, so it’s type of win-win.’
Danny left Hollyoaks in 2015 and says that as a former cleaning soap actor, you’ll be able to face snobbery once in a while. ‘I undoubtedly know there are casting administrators that particularly gained’t see you if you happen to’ve executed a cleaning soap; it’s irritating.’ Nevertheless, Danny has thrived, undoubtedly helped by his stellar 2016 stint in Strictly, which made him a family title. Paired with Oti Mabuse, he was a runner up within the competitors. Was he unhappy to not have lifted the glitterball trophy? ‘I might have liked to have gained it for Oti, however her successful with Kelvin [Fletcher, last year] has actually taken the strain off me. I now not have that weight on my shoulders.’
Up to now few years, he has additionally gained his first appearing award for his efficiency in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sundown Boulevard musical, and just lately took the Bing Crosby function in a manufacturing of White Christmas within the West Finish. So the place does he go from right here? ‘I’d prefer to proceed within the path of working,’ he laughs. ‘I don’t thoughts an excessive amount of what sort of labor it’s, so long as it supplies for me and my household and I really feel like I’m pushed and stretched.’
Musicals to our ears….
Sleepless: A Musical Romance
It’s based mostly on the 1993 rom-com Sleepless In Seattle, a couple of unhappy widower who goes on a radio present and strikes listeners. Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh play the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan roles. From March 24, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London, sleeplessthemusical.com
Whoopi Goldberg (left) stars within the London musical model of the smash-hit movie she initially starred in again in 1992. Completely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders (proper) takes on the function of mom superior. July 21-Aug 30, Eventim Apollo, London and on nationwide tour, sisteractthemusical.co.uk
Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits got here up with the music for this all-singing model of the 1983 Invoice Forsyth film about an American oil man who falls in love with the city that he’s purported to be doing over. From June 18, The Outdated Vic, London, oldvictheatre.com
You’re pondering of Nicole Kidman swinging on a trapeze over the crowds and Ewan McGregor falling in love along with her from the Oscar-winning 2001 Baz Lurhmann film. Properly, now you’ll be able to see somebody try this stay on stage! From this month, Piccadilly Theatre, London, moulinrougemusical.com
The story of an outsize mum and her outsize daughter preventing to be fabulous in small-town 1960s America, as seen in John Waters’ brilliantly subversive movie from 1988. With Michael Ball (proper) because the mum and Paul Merton (left) as her hubby. From April 23, The Coliseum, London, hairspraythemusical.co.uk
■ Fairly Lady: The Musical is reserving at The Piccadilly Theatre to Jan 2, 2021, thepiccadillytheatre.com