Daniel Boys shot to fame in the Any Dream Will Do series, prior to which he trained at the Guildford School of Acting and had parts in Rent, both in the West End and on tour. He has since found success in Avenue Q and the London premiere of Wolfboy, and is currently starring in a new production of Peter Pan. Lucy Thackray caught up with him about the journey so far.
So you’re doing Godspell in Manchester – tell me a bit about the show.
It’s basically a celebration of 40 years of Godspell, the musical – it’s just a one-off at the Manchester Palace Theatre, starring Kerry Ellis, Jonathan Williams as Jesus and me as Judas. I’d seen it many years ago when I was about 17. I’ve always loved the music and I’m quite a big fan of Stephen Schwartz anyway, I think he’s kind of a genius composer and lyricist. It’s just one of those iconic shows, I guess, so it’s exciting to be involved.
Do you think it will attract a new audience, perhaps?
I think because of Wicked, which everyone seems to know and love, I think that’s creating a new audience and new generation who will look at other musicals he’s written. Because it hasn’t been done for a while in this country, it’s probably going to cause quite a stir, and people who did know it originally in the 70s will be interested too.
Are you excited to work with Kerry Ellis and Jonathan Williams?
I know Kerry Ellis, I’ve met her a few times and we actually share an agent. I think she’s fantastic, I’ve worked with her on a recording before and I think she’s incredible, a brilliant actress and a lovely girl. So it’s exciting to actually work properly with her on something. Jonathan I know through a mutual friend and I know he’s got a stunning voice, so I think it’ll be a huge success.
Are the creative team planning on doing anything particularly new and different with it?
Do you know what, I don’t actually know – I’m looking forward to seeing what they do. It is a concert version so I know they’ll have a great orchestra and they’ve been tweeting that they’re very excited about the cast they’ve got. I think it’s going to be a very special evening.
And either side of that you’ll be doing Peter Pan in Dublin and then Southampton. How’s that going?
We’ve just finished Dublin, and it’s been brilliant. It’s this beautiful new version of the story – it’s a couple of generations on, so Peter has grown up slightly but still maintains that he’s this boy inside, though he looks like an adult. So it’s kind of bringing it to a modern audience. It went down really well with audiences in Dublin and it is such a joy to be in as it’s really lovely music. So I’m looking forward to Southampton for the next six weeks. It’s got beautiful sets and it’s a really lovely production.
Has it been hard or refreshing being out of the West End?
I love it, I’d never been to Dublin so it’s been lovely and the theatre there is stunning – it’s only two years old. Some of my favourite jobs have been outside of the West End, it’s a different vibe. The audience is always very enthusiastic.
Most of your fans have followed you since you appeared on Any Dream Will Do. Do you have good memories of the show?
Oh, yeah. I can’t believe it was four years ago. I have a lot of very fond memories, I had a very exciting time. It was very bizarre, very strange but I feel lucky to have had that sort of experience, because not many people do. Performing live on television was really exciting.
You’ve done a lot since then. What has been your favourite role?
I guess my favourite would have to be [Princeton/Rod in] Avenue Q. I did it for two and a half years in the West End; it was a show I loved anyway, I was a big fan of it, so when I got told I had a part I was over the moon. It was such a unique show, there’s nothing else like it, and it was great to work with the puppets and put my own spin on the characters. It always had very enthusiastic audiences, I loved it.
What’s next for you after Godspell and Peter Pan?
Hopefully there are some more concerts coming up at the end of this year, into 2012. I did an album, So Close, over a year ago now – but it’s still selling well, which is great and very surreal. I’ve done lots of concerts this year promoting that, and I do want to do another album, it’s just finding the right material and finding the backing. But that’s something I aim to do next year. I do want to concentrate on more concerts, I really want to be able to be myself, singing what I want to sing and chatting to the audience. I really do get a buzz from that.