Spotlight on Dan Burton
By Ben Bunce
This month the ATG Blog talks to Dan Burton who has been wowing London audiences as Tulsa in the hit show Gypsy, at the Savoy Theatre. With theatre credits such as Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain and Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys it was about time we spoke to Dan to find what inspired him to become a leading man in London's West End today.
|© Patrick Berger|
What was the first musical that you ever saw?Starlight Express was the first musical I saw when I was about 5 years old. It was at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria and it was the first West End Show I had ever seen. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Stilgoe and Arlene Phillips did an amazing job.
When did you know that this was what you wanted to do as a career?I knew I wanted to be an actor, singer and dancer when I was about 14 years old. I wanted to dance like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire after seeing all the wonderful films they made. They were both extraordinary.
When did you start performing?It was quite late. I started taking ballet and tap classes locally in Lincoln at the age of 14 and when my voice broke I realised I could sing too!
First role that you ever played?I played Joseph in a production of The Nativity at Cherry Willingham Primary School in Lincoln - does that count? I have to say I don't remember too much about it but my first professional job was in the ensemble of Miss Siagon.
What's been the highlight of your career to date?I have a few. As well as playing Tulsa in Gypsy which I am really enjoying, I played Don Lockwood in Paris at the Chatalet Theatre in Singin' in the Rain. We played to 3000 people every night and that was really exciting.
Who is your inspiration/idol?I would have to say Gene Kelly. He is manly and graceful and his dancing is effortless and mesmeric. To have played Don Lockwood on stage, a role Gene Kelly played opposite Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Conor in the film of Singin' in the Rain was pretty special.
What is your favourite musical?That's such a tricky one! I love so many musicals in all different genres, be it acting and singing or dance. Jersey Boys will always be one of my absolute favourites and Billy Elliot, which has just celebrated ten years it the West End, is pretty amazing too!
What would you be doing if you weren't working in the theatre?I probably wouldn't be working! From the age of 14 I have always said that performing is what I wanted to do and I am lucky enough to have never looked back.
What show do you think they should bring back?I really think they should bring back Little Me by Neil Simon. I think it was last in London in 2013 and would be great if it got picked up again - I would love to play the role of George Musgrove.
Favourite West End theatre?The Prince Edward, although, at the moment my favourite theatre is of course The Savoy where I was also in the original cast of Legally Blonde The Musical when it began performance in December 2009. It's great to be back!
Your dream role for the future?I would love to play Stone or Stine in the musical comedy City Of Angels. It's such a quality show with Cy Coleman's brilliant score, David Zippel's great lyrics and Larry Gelbart's book.
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