Former Sidmouth Youth Theatre performer makes West End debut in Jersey Boys

London Cast 2016

JERSEY BOYS London Cast 2016 - Credit: Archant

A former Sidmouth performer is hitting all the right notes after making his debut in one of the West End’s biggest musicals.

London Cast 2016

JERSEY BOYS London Cast 2016 - Credit: Archant

It has been a dream 10 years in the making for Dan O’Brien to be cast in Jersey Boys, after developing his love of performing as a member of Sidmouth Youth Theatre (SYT).

He told the Herald the group played a important part in his life after his mum, Angela, died when he was 15, following a battle with multiple sclerosis.

He continued to be part of SYT when he moved to Exmouth to live with foster parents Shelly and Lester Newman, who supported him in his aspirations to become an actor.

The 28-year-old thanked his foster parents and drama teacher Angela Davies, by adding: “It was really important that I stayed in the group with my friends at the time.”

Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien - Credit: Archant

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After taking part in productions of Bugsy Malone, Godspell and Les Miserable, he went to study at Exeter College and the London School of Musical Theatre. When he received the call that he would be joining the Jersey Boys cast as Hank Majewski, he was working as front of house at another London theatre.

He said: “I wasn’t supposed to have my phone on me, but I had a missed call from my agent and said to the manager, ‘I have to take this’. I committed 10 years of my life towards one goal and when that came, it was equal parts jubilation and relief.

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“I had been waiting for my big break. I was incredibly excited. I have been a massive fan of the show.”

Dan’s previous experience includes touring productions of Dreamboats and Petticoats, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and On A Clear Day.

Now performing eight nights a week, he is relishing the challenge of covering three other parts in the show.

Dan said: “I’m a true believer in doing something in life that you are passionate about.”

Jersey Boys is running at the Piccadilly Theatre until April 16, 2017.

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