Tag Archives: Tim Driesen

A spotlight on Tim Driesen

19 Dec

It has been a while since my last “A spotlight on” post but after seeing a very talented young man in his two cover parts in Rock of Ages last weekend I figured it was about time for another one.

Obviously I’m talking about Tim Driesen, who is currently understudying both Drew and Stacee Jaxx in the London production of Rock of Ages. I first discovered Tim when he was playing Adrian Banks (the Mark Owen part) in Never Forget the musical in London in 2008. Yes, I know – that show was not to everyone’s taste. But I can honestly say that I loved it. It was such a fun night out and the whole cast were absolutely fantastic. Plus I have always been a fan of great choreography and Never Forget was full of fabulous dance scenes.

Tim (second from the left) and his fellow Never Forget "band members"

Tim (second from the left) and his fellow Never Forget cast members

I managed to catch Tim in a little show called Jet Set Go at Jermyn Street Theatre next which also starred Mark Evans. After the loud party that was Never Forget it was nice to see Tim in such an intimate venue with no flashy lights, huge dance scenes and loud beats to distract from the story and the acting.

And now, after being lucky enough to see Tim as both Stacee Jaxx and Drew in one weekend (yes, I watched the show twice in a row – I just couldn’t resist!) I finally know what an incredibly talented performer he is – not that I had any doubts about this before! But although I knew he had a great voice I was completely blown away by the notes he hit as Drew. Seriously, that was just insane – the guy is a true rocker! And he must be the only person who actually looks good with Drew’s wig (nothing against the other guys I’ve seen in the part but that wig itself just isn’t very pretty). Having said that, Stacee’s long blond hair suits him quite well, too.

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Tim has also appeared in Mamma Mia, Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat (Joseph), Starlight Express (cover Rusty), The Rocky Horror Show (cover Riff-Raff and Rocky), Bat Boy – the musical, We will rock you (Galileo) Notre Dam de Paris and others. He was a finalist on his native Belgium’s Pop Idol and has appeared on several tv shows in both Belgium and the UK.

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Tim as Galileo

Beside being a fantastic performer Tim is also a talented songwriter. He has written a full length musical called Super Alice Smith which was showcased at Perfect Pitch in 2009 (Trafalgar Studios, London).

Most recently Tim has written a song with David Ribi in aid of The MAD Trust.  Make sure to watch the brilliantly funny video for “Onesie time” (West End Onsie Club) on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE6uK_hkmSc. And please download the song from iTunes. It’s such a fun tune and all for a great cause!

So, what I’m trying to tell you all is this: Watch out for the very talented Tim Driesen in the future. Go see him in Rock of Ages (try and be there for one of his Drew dates – don’t miss out!), download “Onesie time” (and spread the word about the song) and keep an eye open for whatever he comes up with next – whether it’s a role on stage, a new song or a whole new musical… it’s bound to be fantastic!

Follow Tim on Twitter @TimDriesen

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Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre – 4th October 2012

8 Oct
I have reviewed Rock of Ages before but after the first big cast change just two weeks ago it’s definitely time for another look at one of the loudest and craziest shows in town.
 
Ross Hunter has taken over from Oliver Tompsett as Drew. Fans of musical theatre might know him from shows like We will rock you where he understudied the lead part of Galileo or Legally Blonde where he was understudy for Warner.
Good things first: I think Ross has a good voice and it’s impressive to see what he has achieved at such a young age. He manages the part just fine vocally and that alone isn’t an easy thing to do. However, for me he just doesn’t suit the part completely. He appears slightly uncomfortable on stage and even though he tries, I just don’t see a rock guy but rather a boy dressed up in rock clothes he doesn’t look natural in sporting long hair that simply doesn’t suit his type. It may be a thing of having to grow into the part and I’m looking forward to see how Ross develops in the part over the next weeks. But at this point he looks the most at home as Jazzy J – the boyband kind of guy.
 
Tim Howar is the new Stacee Jaxx. I’ve been seeing Tim on stage since 2004 and for me he has always been at his best when given a part that allows him to rock and work the crowd. This show makes no exception to that rule. Tim’s Stacee is a true rock star, completely full of himself and slightly oblivious to the fact that he has passed the peak of his career long ago. While I did like Shayne Ward’s portrayal I think Tim is a lot more suited to play an ageing rock star (I’m not calling Tim old here!). Plus he has the bonus of that killer rock voice. For me Tim is the best addition this show could ever get – a great actor with a brilliant voice who portrays Stacee’s arrogance without going completely over the top.
 
Natalie Andreou continues as Sherry. Ever since taking over the part full-time early on in the show’s run she has proven that she is absolutely perfectly cast. Her Sherry is funny and likeable and she’s got a great voice to match her brilliant acting.

Simon Lipkin’s Lonny is the star of the show, there is now denying that. He’s hilariously funny and it’s almost impossible to not watch him whenever he is on stage – even when he’s only dancing as part of a female background chorus.
Plus his ad libs are the highlight of every show – there’s no question that this guy is a hugely talented performer with a real feel for comedy, something not many performers have to that extend.
 

Sandy Moffat and Jodie Jacobs remain in the cast as Franz and Regina. And I’ve said it before: I love them both in their parts. And yes, the German jokes still make me laugh!
 
 
Daniel Fletcher has taken over from Justin Lee Collins as Dennis Dupree. First impression: He is tall!! Daniel gives a solid performance but I do think he needs some time to settle into the part. The interaction between him and Simon isn’t as good as it could be but I’m sure that is just a matter of time. 

The rest of the cast does well although I did miss Amy Thornton and Zizi Strallen. Great to have Tim Driesen back on a West End stage. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him as Drew sometime soon. And it’s always nice to see Scarlette Douglas on stage even if it’s only in her swing part.

Rock of Ages continues to be a fun show. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is: A rock musical with some great 80ties tunes and cheesy jokes built around a simple storyline. It’s not Sondheim and it’s certainly not for everyone. But do I like it? Hell yes!!
 
 
Rock of Ages is playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 6th January (before moving to another, yet to be confirmed theatre from 18th January).
 
For more info and to book tickets go to: http://www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/