Star of London’s West End Men on leading roles and visiting Thailand.
In conversation with Zazithorn Ruengchinda
Hugh Maynard trained at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and Arts Educational, and has worked across film, theatre, music and television. He was personally chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber to play the principle role of Simon Zealotes and the understudy of Judas, in Jesus Christ Superstar. Since then Hugh has continued to have a successful career worldwide and in London’s West End.
In 2004, Hugh played the character of John in Miss Saigon and to date is the youngest person to have been given the privilege of playing this role. He is also the former sixth member of Tenors of Rock and has performed around the world, including at the 2012 Olympic Games.
In 2014 he returned to play the same role in the award-winning revival of Miss Saigon and made theatre history again in 2016, by being the first black actor in UK history to play the title role in Sweeney Todd.
You’ve been in some exceptional productions over the years. Which character did you identify with the most and why?
As Jesus Christ Superstar was my first professional musical, I put all my acting, singing and dancing awareness down to this one show. On separate occasions I had the honour of playing the roles of Simon Zealotes and Judas.I’m still waiting for my offer to play Jesus. Playing Judas, I felt sorry for him, I can’t really explain why, perhaps his intelligence. Another memorable moment was from my role as John in Miss Saigon. Singing “Bui Doi”every night was exciting and very emotional. I will be singing this song in Bangkok.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Before any show, I feel it is important to be with and interact with all the people involved inthe production. Normally in my world this would happen on stage, during the process of the physical and vocal warm-up. I like to speak to people whether they are actors, stage management, crew, band members, front of house reps, wigs, wardrobe, producers, management… people that make the show possible.
London’s West End Men in Concert is a celebration of the leading men in musical theatre. So, who is your all-time favourite leading man?
That would be the multi-award winner James Earl Jones. I have always liked his acting style and certainly his voice. He’s great in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Mufasa in The Lion King and King Jaffe Joffer in Coming to America.
What can audiences in Bangkok expect at January’s London’s West End Men in Concert?
The audiences can expect world-class entertainment and a specially selected collection of musicsung from the heart. London’s West End Men celebrate the leading Men of Musical Theatre, and it is great that we are all available at the same time to fly to Thailand.
Is this your first time in Thailand and what are you looking forward to the most?
No, I have been to Thailand many times. I am looking forward to visiting friends, like Kitting Kittipakapom from Miss Saigon and Tip Kerchart, a Thai Restaurant owner.
London’s West End Men in concert with the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, is supported by the British Embassy Thailand, and takes place at the Thailand Cultural Centre on January 19th, 2019.
Tickets are available priced from B500-B4,500 from
www.thaiticketmajor.com or call: 02262 3456.