'It's great to come back home to Essex' says former Les Miserables star
A FORMER star of the West End musical Les Misérables is set to take centre stage at Stock Village Hall.
Gary Tushaw starred as Marius Pontmercy in 2005 and will make a special guest appearance at a musical workshop of the show on September 28.
Although he now lives in London, where he has appeared in many other mainstream productions including The Mousetrap, he hails from Billericay and is a former pupil of the Mayflower School.
The actor, who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, has been lined up to sing hits including Marius's main song Empty Chairs At Empty Tables, talk about his time in Les Misérables and take questions from participants.
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Mr Tushaw began acting at school before joining local amateur groups like the Brentwood Shakespeare Company, who perform regularly at the Brentwood Theatre.
He said: "It's great to come back home to Essex again and get involved in a show that brings me a lot of cherished memories.
"Since leaving drama school I've been lucky enough to perform in a number of wonderful productions, and many in London, and Les Misérables certainly has a special place in my heart.
"Once you've performed in a production like that, it never completely leaves you, and I'm really looking forward to sharing my experiences with people on the day.
"Currently I'm playing the role of Ted Hinton at London's oldest pub theatre, the King's Head, in a new adaptation of the Bonnie and Clyde story.
"He is the Deputy Sheriff who formed part of the posse that was on the hunt for the notorious couple, but in our version he acts as a kind of narrator and you see his journey from early affection of Bonnie in her youth to the dawning realisation that he must destroy her beauty to liberate her from the life of crime in which she has become embroiled. The production closes on September 21."
The workshop, run by Essex-based Arbutus Music, will offer people of all abilities the chance to perform many of the show's anthems including Do You Hear The People Sing?, I Dreamed A Dream and Master Of The House.
People who attend will also enjoy vocal training from Arbutus Music's experienced vocal coaches Christine Gwynn and Frances Quintrell.
Mrs Quintrell, of Jacksons Lane, Billericay, said: "We're so excited about having a true West End star in Gary joining us for part of the day.
"He brings with him a beautiful voice and the experience of playing one of the lead roles in one of the greatest musicals of all time.
"It's going to be a very special day," added Ms Gwynn, from Stapleford Tawney, near Ongar.
"Gary singing two or three songs will add a sprinkle of stardust to what's already going to be a fun-packed occasion."
Tickets cost £30, which includes tea coffee and sheet music.
The workshop is open from 10am until 4pm and booking is essential.
To book, call 01277 651970 or visit www.arbutusmusic.net