Q&A with Gavin Lee from Top Hat

Photo by Tristram Kenton

Gavin Lee with Kristen Beth Williams in Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre. Picture: Tristram Kenton

You’ve been treading the boards for 20 years, can you describe your training and what difference it made when you were starting out?

“I started dancing at the age of 9. My first classes were disco dancing… Well, it was 1980! When I was growing up I did lots of amateur dramatics and school productions and after my GCSEs I went to train at Bird Theatre College.  I think every young person should have some form of college training before they start a career in theatre. There is usually a lot of competition in class and this only helps to give you the drive to be the best when you start auditioning.”

If you had a role model, who would that be, and has it changed over your career?
“I’ve never really had a role model. Of course I admire certain performers and as a kid I dreamed of being able to perform like Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly – they are simply the best.”

Noel Coward once said that actors need a sense of their own destiny, did you always gravitate towards musical theatre?
“I always loved singing and dancing growing up. Musical theatre was kinda all I did as a kid. As the years have gone on I have wanted to try different stuff – TV, straight plays etc – but actors tend to get put in certain boxes and it’s hard to get seen for other projects. Also, I’ve learnt there are so many actors for each job that it’s often best to stick to what you’re good at.”

Compiled by Michael Tornay

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