Scott Hunter celebrates his musical beginnings at South Hill Park after having been nominated for an OFFIE for Best Male in a Musical for Yank The Musical (Charing X Theatre). Scott has previously performed in a number of shows at South Hill Park, including MasterAct’s Spring Awakening (2011). Here, he is interviewed by Artistic Director Ron McAllister.
- Hi Scott! Congratulations on your performance as Stu in Yank The Musical. I’m sure this is the beginning of a massive West End career for you. Are you enjoying it as much as you appear to be?
Yes! I absolutely adore this part and feel so lucky and grateful to be in this show.
- How did your interest in Musical Theatre begin?
It started way back in Year 7 performing in the school play which was The Tempest by William Shakespeare. We performed it at South Hill Park for the Shakespeare School Festival.
- Tell me about your training route into the profession.
It was quite simple. I met someone who was going to Mountview, I decided I wanted to go and I started to throw myself into as many shows and lessons as possible.
- How did you land the lead role of Stu?
I had four auditions for it, the final audition being an 8 hour day of dancing, singing and acting. I was in and out of the room and by the end of the day it was me and one other guy left. I was so sure he had gotten it!
- What were the challenges of the role?
It’s a huge role. I’m on stage for the whole of both acts bar about four minutes here and there so I had to learn how to pace myself. Emotionally, it’s incredibly draining but I think I have managed to work out the best way to detach myself from the role when I leave the theatre – otherwise I end up very emotional on the tube home!
- Did you find parallels in your own life to draw on?
I did. Stu is an incredibly uncomfortable and unconfident young man who really isn’t sure who he is. I was the exact same, until I found an amazing community of performers and realised I was able to be myself. The really upsetting thing for me in this role is the fact that Stu can’t just be himself due to the consequences of the time.
- What do you enjoy most about the part – and the show?
I enjoy the journey he goes on. By the end of the show he is the bravest person on that stage and finding that strength is so wonderful. His story is that of a thousand men in the military during the Second World War, so by finding that resolve at the end I feel I am bringing some life back to the stories which were lost.
- So what next do you think for you?
Hopefully some more work! As an actor you do not know when your next role will be but I hope I can keep on working, finding new characters and stories that need to be told or that I want to explore.
- How important was having an arts centre like South Hill Park- what difference did that make to your early career?
Honestly without South Hill Park I wouldn’t be performing. Through going there and performing various shows there I met people who showed me that you can do this “performing thing” as a career. Not only did it show me that, it was a great place to learn. I had singing lessons with Ron McAllister there and I even did my fundraiser for Drama School there!
- I hope to see you back at South Hill Park soon – either in a show or perhaps we could put together a Sunday cabaret and invite all your old South Hill Park friends?
That would be something wouldn’t it?!