Interview: Hollyoaks star Danny Mac takes on Sunset Boulevard in Milton Keynes
One of the all time great musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Â Sunset Boulevard, is a compelling story of romance and obsession based on Billy Wilder's legendary film.
The much loved score includes the title number Sunset Boulevard as well as With One Look, As If We Never Said Goodbye and The Greatest Star of All and is performed by a full orchestra on the UK tour, which comes to us at the end of this month. In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard faded, silent screen goddess Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world.
Impoverished screen writer Joe Gillis, played by Hollyoaks and Strictly’s Danny Mac, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle.
Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with very dramatic consequences.
Describing his character Danny said: “He’s wonderfully flawed. He hasn’t gotten everything right but he thinks he has. Everything is told from his point of view and he doesn’t really see his mistakes; he thinks it’s him who is doing everything right and everyone and everything else is failing around him when actually it is him who is making the wrong decisions. That’swhere it leads to at the end – you see his downfall because of that and I think it is what brings about his demise. He’sdug his own grave essentially.”
Danny also explained what thie biggest challenge is for appearing in this part.
He said: “I have an incredible duty to tell the story as essentially the narrator of the show. There are impeccable performances from the entire the cast and it is based around four main characters – namely Norma, Max, Betty and Joe – but I’ve got to narrate the story so it’s about getting every bit of information over and serving the piece and everyone else os performances in the right way.”
Talk inevitably turns to Strictly Come Dancing with Danny a runner up on the last series.
He said: “It’s got to be the dance routines I was able to produce each week, which constantly reminds me now of things I’m able to do even though I might not think I can.
“That’s something I’ll always take from doing that show. If I’d been asked to play Joe Gillis before I’d done Strictly I’d probably have said no simply through fear that I couldn’t do it and a million people could do it better.
“But this role, as far as I’m concerned, belongs to me and I own it. I don’t mean that in a cocky or arrogant way, but if you don’t walk out there and own that role you’re doing the piece and the rest of the cast a disservice as well as yourself.
“That’s something I’ve learned – to take something and run with it – because you only get these big chances once in your life and you have to seize them.
“This is something I’ve been working for since I was a kid. It’s been a funny journey for me and there’s been many times where you feel you need to apologise for what you’ve done, but when look at it from a different side and you’re proud of it you’re like ‘This is what I’m qualified in, this is what I trained in, this is what I’ve worked towards and I should never apologise for that’.
“I learned that from Strictly and it’s been a complete joy since then and I’ve had the best time because of it.”
Sunset Boulevard will be at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday November 28 - Saturday December 2. Tickets cost from £19, call 0844 871 7652 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes