Monday 13 November sees new musical Tiger Bay, open in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre. Set in the early 1900’s, the show tells the story of poverty and wealth in Cardiff’s Butetown through one young woman, played by Vicky Bebb. Welsh musical star John Owen-Jones plays John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute in a role written for him.
When I spoke to him earlier this year around the release of his compilation album, Bring Him Home, John said that to have a part written for him was “a long held dream”. With Tiger Bay, John also had the opportunity to be involved in a new musical right from the beginning as the show initially premiered in Cape Town in March / April this year. This experience was different to other shows that John’s been it was “more like a long workshop with rewrites and changes” as opposed to slotting into a long running show.
One such long running show was Les Miserables, where he most recently took over from Alfie Boe on Broadway. John enjoys a good relationship with Alfie and joked about Alfie and Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean before Alfie) that “they did what I originally did and then I went and showed them how it was supposed to be done.” Click here for our Les Miz Broadway reviews to see if you agree!
Whilst on the topic of Alfie (John knowing Alfie and me writing this blog, talking about Alfie was inevitable) we talked about the infamous night at the Royal Albert Hall when Alfie pulled John up onto the stage to sing Bring Him Home. Of that night, John said “I wished I hadn’t had two pints of lager but it was absolutely unplanned and terrifying but perhaps the beer was helpful. I couldn’t believe Alfie had the balls to do that.” That was my very first Alfie concert and because of that magical moment, one of the most memorable:
John, of course, also starred in another iconic long running show, Phantom of the Opera as well as a recent short revival of The Wild Party. When asked, John’s dream roles include Sweeney Todd, George in the Park, Man of La Mancha, Into the Woods and Company.
Tiger Bay opens on 13 November.
John’s latest album, Bring Him Home is available here:
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