Theatre

Ticketmaster meets The Lion King’s George Asprey

First off, the costumes and make-up in The Lion King are incredible – how long does it take to get ready and does your costume pose any challenges?

It takes a professional make-up artist 40 minutes to do my make up; it would be triple that if I had to do it. It takes me 20 minutes to get dressed; I have a dresser to help me.

What attracted you to the role of Scar?

He’s probably the greatest Disney villain ever created. And when else are you going to have the opportunity to say “Hello Kitty” on stage?

How does it feel to play the villain of the piece?

I love playing the baddie. The psychological make-up of an evil person is so much fun to explore, plus he generally gets the best lines.

Who would be your ideal ‘goodie’ to play?

Probably Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls” He’s a baddie that becomes a goodie.

You’ve played the role for some time, how do you manage it night in, night out?

I may have played Scar for many performances but for the majority of the audience it’s their first time. I have to be the best Scar I can be. Plus it really is great fun.

If you could perform one song from The Lion King that’s not one of yours, which would you choose?

“They live in you” As long as I could sing like Shaun Escoffery….which I can’t…..

You’ve worked on both stage and screen – which do you prefer and why?

They are both so different. I love the novelty of screen acting, and the chance to do something different each day. But you don’t get that immediate rapport with the audience that gives an actor such a buzz.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not trying to take over Pride Rock?

I’m a hug sports fan and love to watch most sports, but my main hobbies are golf and Jiu Jitsu. Unfortunately these are somewhat curtailed by the needs of my 3 daughters, the youngest being only 21 months. But my time will come.

And finally, what makes The Lion King a great night out for schools and groups?

The Lion King combines a multitude of different theatrical genres from around the world, from Chinese shadow puppetry to Balanese dance. The music is incredible and it’s a time honoured story that even Shakespeare has used. If you are going to see your first piece of theatre what could be better than that. Oh and the guy playing Scar is just GREAT!!

The Lion King is showing at the Lyceum Theatre, London – tickets are available here.

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