Meet the Cast of Rent: Jamie McNicholas

Rent opens a week today and runs until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.whilst you still have a choice of night!

"I got the chance to perform with the original Fagin ... Ron Moody."

Name: Jamie McNicholas

Character Name: Angel Dummot Schunard

Jamie in rehearsal with  Sabrina Hinchliffe ,  Alex Kirkham  and  Freddie Cox   (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography )

Jamie in rehearsal with Sabrina Hinchliffe, Alex Kirkham and Freddie Cox (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography)

Tell us about your character: Angel is a young drag queen and street percussionist. He meets and falls in love with Collins. He has HIV/ AIDS. As a person, Angel is the most generous and selfless character in the show. Angel hands out money to the neighbourhood while dressed in Santa drag. Though he has HIV/AIDS, he embraces life and lives it to its fullest. People are naturally drawn to him and his smile lights up the room. Tom and Angel’s relationship is the heart of the show, as the genuine love and devotion they have for one another brings hope and inspiration to the entire group. They show the world how to truly live life and not be afraid.

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? I do not think I have many connections to Angel in my own life, which for me is a positive as I really get to explore a different side to myself and my performance skills in a way that I had never considered previously, and also to play with a character completely different to myself - I’m really enjoying taking on this different outlook that Angel has and developing my skills as a Male to walk in heels. Angel is very selfless and carries a natural warmth within her personality – I feel many of her personality traits are ones that I would ideally like people to recognise in me, and this is something I take with me when playing her in rehearsals.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? My favourite song in the show is the “Ill cover you – reprise”, I choose this song because I feel that it is the key song in the show that will punch you right in the emotions. The song perfectly shows the struggles that come with losing a loved one and the ballad style reprise of a once upbeat song about a young couple in love is really something to behold.

What other shows have you done? I have done a few shows prior to Rent, my most enjoyable experiences include: 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' - Uk tour; 'Cinderella' Pantomime – New Victoria Theatre Woking; 'Oliver! the Musical' – Theatre Royal Drury Lane; 'Spring Awakening' – Godalming College; 'Cabaret' – Godalming College; 'Let The Right One In' – Godalming College.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? The most memorable on stage moment for me has to be when I luckily got the chance to be a member of Fagin's Gang on the 50th Anniversary of Oliver! I got the chance to perform with the original Fagin, who recently passed, Ron Moody. I’ve never seen someone control an audience the way he did, and get so much pleasure from being on stage even at the age of 86. It was the most inspiring performance I have ever seen on stage and I don’t think I will have many experiences that will top that one.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I spent my early years as a child wanting to grow up to be a professional rugby player… hard to believe now as you may recognise me on stage as the one on stage in a dress and heels. But it wasn’t until the age of around 11/12 I would see shows up in London and be very jealous of any kids I saw on stage, a poignant moment for me was when watching Billy Elliot.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? This is the first production that I have ever done with Simply, and everyone has been so welcoming and made me feel comfortable from the second I met them. Simply has a great social side to our rehearsals, but we have also been very productive and efficient with the time we’ve spent on the show. Its very reassuring to have this much faith in a show and the company you’re working with.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? If you mean anything of importance… then no… Sometimes I watch Netflix and eat.

No Day But Today