A WEARSIDER is preparing to take to the stage at the London Palladium.
Gary Watson has been cast as Don in the Broadway musical A Chorus Line, for its return to the West End this week.
“I’m really excited about it because it’s such a famous theatre,” said the 28-year-old, of Plains Farm,
“It was a great feeling when I got the job.
“Most of the time I tell my family I’m playing at a theatre which they haven’t heard of, so they are really excited about this one.”
It is almost 35 years since the show was last performed in the capital and Gary believes its return will be a big hit with audiences.
“It’s an absolute classic,” he said.
“It’s got fantastic songs and great characters.
“It still is quite ground-breaking, there’s no set, it’s all about casting for a show.
“It’s a bit of an insight into things like the X Factor.”
As well as playing the part of Don, Gary is understudy to former EastEnders star John Partridge, and will be on standby to deputise as the show’s lead character.
“To be stepping into his shoes is such a privilege,” said Gary.
“My family might have to come down twice because they want to see both me and John play the part.”
Gary, who has previously appeared in Matilda, Les Miserables and Cats, joins fellow former Thornhill pupils Ben Forster and Michael Pickering in enjoying West End success.
“It’s a great thing for the school,” he said. “There must have been something in the water around then.
“It’s 10 years since I moved down, it has its ups and downs, but it’s taken me round the world – I’ve had a fantastic career so far.
“It’s achievable but hard work. I feel lucky that I’ve managed to make a life from it.”
A Chorus Line previews today and opens on Tuesday, February 19, running until the end of June.