Grease: Danny Bayne Interview

What do you think is the lasting appeal of Grease?

“Well it’s youthful, energetic and fun. People love it! The tour this time around has been as popular as ever and I think with this economic crisis, it just makes everyone feel better. It’s been around forever and it will be around forever. It just makes you feel good and you can’t say fairer than that. You can’t really change a show like this, so you know what you’re getting and we have a really talented cast this time around. Grease doesn’t age.”

What do you enjoy most about playing Danny?

“Well first of all I get to dance, which is a huge thing for me as I’m a dancer. I really enjoy every aspect of his character. He’s fun and can be a bit arrogant, but he gets away with it. I have some great songs, which is lovely. It’s just really rock ’n’ roll and suits me perfectly. It’s quite similar to my previous role in Hairspray (Corny Collins). I really enjoyed playing that role and I love this one.

Are you looking forward to returning to The Mayflower?

“Yeah, Southampton is lovely. I love the park over the road and always go for my lunch there. I’m pleased I’ll be back in the summer again, like for Hairspray so I can enjoy the parks. I’ve also taken up golf, which I’m obsessed with! I hear there are a few really good courses down there which I can try out as I wasn’t playing last time I was in Southampton.”

How has your success in Grease Is The Word changed your life?

“It sounds cliched and corny, but it really did. I hadn’t even graduated from college when I went in for the show. So I ended up three months later being thrust into a leading role. But I hope I took it all in my stride. After the thrill of the TV stuff, it is a bit back to reality to be honest, doing eight shows a week and pleasing your employer. It definitely changed my life though and gave me that opportunity a lot more quickly than I would otherwise have had it. Otherwise it would have been doing bits and bobs here and there and trying to get a foot in the door towards those big roles. I was definitely thrust into it all quickly, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

You went straight onto the TV show from the Italia Conti Stage School. Was it anything like Rydell High?!

“In a way it was, yes. I suppose every class has its cool kids and its geeks, but it’s magnified at stage school! I had a great time at college though and really learnt a lot. I was ready to leave by the end of it though. I was so chuffed my first job was in the West End – that was pretty awesome! In fact, it was the best thing ever.

So would you advise anyone hoping to go into the profession to go to stage school?

“Definitely. People think this industry is just a bit of a game, but it’s not at all. It’s hard work and you’ve really got to look after yourself, like not eating certain foods or drinking certain things. It’s not just when you’re up on stage, it’s hours of practice every day and considering it constantly. College teaches you that, as well as stagecraft and technique and how to cope with eight shows a week.”

Would you consider doing any other reality TV shows?

“Not really. I mean apart from Grease I think the only one I might have done would have been So You Think You Can Dance? It would have been only something which involved a bit of dance as that puts a smile on my face.”

What is your dream role?

“I’d love to do Saturday Night Fever – Tony Manero. You never know if that’s coming back or if I will ever get that opportunity, but that would be the one. A return of that would have a huge audience I think.”

What’s your idea of a perfect day off work?

“Generally it would involve spending time with my fiancee. She’s a dancer too and she’s always away working in Canada. That would be followed by a game of golf of course, maybe twice! I haven’t stopped playing since I took it up. I love it and it’s a perfect hobby for the job.”

n Grease runs from Wednesday to Saturday July 16. For tickets, call 023 8071 1811

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