July 2016 - Cover Story: UK's own Phillip Arran
Just hearing Phillip Arran’s voice, it’s easy to tell that he is not a native of New Mexico. But an opportunity to take part in a familiar show led to Arran becoming a regular visitor to the Land of Enchantment. Arran is currently on the Journal Theater stage at The National Hispanic Cultural Center playing Bernadette in The Dolls’ production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical. This role is not new to Arran. He was part of the original West End production in London, so his love for the show is strong. Arran sat down with us so we could learn more about this talented thespian.
What led you to taking part in Priscilla here in Albuquerque?
“Quite random! I worked with Jessica Osbourne (Co-Director/Choreographer) in London back in 2000 and knew that she was now here in ABQ. I was in town for Thanksgiving last year (I recently married an Albuquerquian) and met up with Jessica. We discussed that The Dolls were hoping to do Priscilla this year and, as I was part of the original West End production in London a few years back (understudying the role I am now playing), I told her I would love to be part of it if the timings worked out. Here I am!!”
What is it about the stage that you enjoy?
I think it’s in the blood. I’ve loved performing since I was a young kid. I did everything…singing in church choirs, school plays, concerts, et cetera, until I discovered the world of amateur operatic societies, and it opened a whole new world to me. The rush of adrenalin when an audience is having a great time is really something else.
What was your favorite production that you’ve worked on?
Having been doing this professionally for 25 years and working in all aspects of theatre, especially, I have several, for different reasons. However, as corny as it sounds, Priscilla is by far my favorite, as I realized an ambition in being part of a brand new musical’s original cast in a West End theatre. Witnessing the creative process during rehearsals, the media buzz, the opening night parties and subsequent high-life invitations was amazing, not to mention playing to full houses with standing ovations every performance
What projects do you have coming up?
At the moment I am looking for new opportunities in the television and movie industry. Not to say if a role in a Broadway musical came up I wouldn’t jump at it.
You’ve been on the stage. Ever think of work behind the scenes as Director?
I have actually worked as a director and resident director back in the UK on a number of productions. I started my own theatre company back in my native Wales and did everything from fundraising, marketing, producing, casting, designing sets and costumes, to directing and performing in some of the early productions. I love being creative as a director, but do miss being on stage when in that role.