As you may have noticed by now I am a huge theatre fan. And just like most theatre fans I have my favourite performers that I will happily go and see in whatever show they are appearing in. So I thought I could use this platform to introduce you to some of them. I’ve decided to call this special series “A spotlight on” (not the most creative title, I know). It will feature performers I am proud to support and who I think you should keep an eye on.
And who would be a better person to start with than the hugely talented Hadley Fraser (coincidentally it’s his birthday today: Happy Birthday Hadley! xx).
I first discovered Hadley through his and Ramin Karimloo’s band Sheytoons. The two formed the band in the summer of 2010 and made their stage debut with Sheytoons at Lauderdale House in October 2010. I was lucky enough to see them perform at the 2011 Whatsonstage Awards and at Dublin Castle in April 2011. Since then things have gone a bit quiet regarding the band with both Hadley and Ramin being quite busy with other projects. But hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Sheytoons. The band really is a breath of fresh air and needs to make another appearance in the not too distant future.
Hadley made his West End debut back in 2003 as Marius in Les Miserables. Now, 8 years later, he’s back in the show this time playing the part of Javert for which he has received rave reviews. I only started watching Les Miserables after he joined the cast and soon became a proper regular at the show. And whilst I admit my weekly visits to the show between December 2011 and March 2012 were mainly due to Ramin Karimloo appearing as Jean Valjean I always made sure I didn’t miss out on seeing Hadley as well. I adore his Javert and he definitely has one of the best voices I have heard on a West End stage ever since I started visiting London on a regular basis back in 2002.
Even if you haven’t seen Hadley live on stage you might remember him as Raoul in the 25th anniversary production of Phantom of the Opera (he was the one with the “guy-liner” to quote the man himself ). Watching that performance live in front row at the Royal Albert Hall still ranks as one of the greatest theatre experiences in my life. And Hadley, Ramin and Sierra (Boggess) have become my on stage dream team with their amazing performance as Raoul, Phantom and Christine.
Hadley will soon start filming for the upcoming movie version of Les Miserables (starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russel Crowe as Javert) in which he will appear as the Army Officer. For those of you that are familiar with the show: He’s the guy who usually stands off stage singing “You at the barricades listen to this…” and so on. Apparently Hadley will make it in front of the camera for the movie though. I sure hope so as everything else would be a huge loss for the film.
One of the things I deeply admire about Hadley is the fact that he is not only an amazingly talented singer, actor and songwriter but he is also a through and through interesting person to talk to. He’s witty, nice and he’s got a great sense of humor. I’m sure everyone who has had the pleasure to meet Hadley will agree with me: He’s just an all around charming and lovely guy.
So, please do try and catch Hadley in Les Miserables until June 16 2012, watch the 25th anniversary DVD of Phantom of the Opera and generally look out for this guy. No matter what he will be up to in the future – theatre, song writing, movies and so on – I can assure you it will be worth checking out.
Hadley’s theatre credits
West End: Les Miserables (Palace and Queen’s), Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary production, Royal Albert Hall), The Far Pavilions (Shaftesbury), The Fantasticks (Duchess), The Pirates of Penzance (Savoy), Peter Pan (Savoy):
Broadway: The Pirate Queen
Regional: Pacific Overtures (Leicester Haymarket), Assasins ( Sheffield Crucible), The Last 5 Years (Theatre Aspen, Colorado), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), My Fair Lady (Larnaca Amphitheatre, Cyprus), The Last Session (Hackney Empire), Putting it together (Harrogate), The Shaughraun (Abbey, Dublin), Little Shop of Horrors (Northampton Derngate), Longitude (Greenwich)
Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concerts (O2 Arena) and appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Ronnie Scott’s and Birdland Jazz Club (New York).
Scott Alan’s second album Keys, The Pirate Queen (original cast), Phantom of the Opera (25th anniversary cast recording)
Visit http://www.hadleyfraser.com for more info on Hadley and follow the man himself on twitter @hadleyfraser .