Erin James spoke with Euan Doidge exclusively about his debut album Let It Sing and his role in Les Miserables, set to preview tomorrow at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Talking with Euan Doidge about his work, his life and his passion for the arts, it is easy to see why the star of Les Miserables is one of Australia’s most in-demand performers.
At just 20 years of age, his maturity, talent and eloquence belie his years – as does his impressive musical theatre resume. After training at Patrick Studios Australia, the dynamo performer was cast as Paul in A Chorus Line, a role which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2012 Helpmann Awards, making him the youngest person to be nominated at the tender age of 17. He has been gainfully employed ever since – performing in Legally Blonde and Grease for GFO, The Producers and Anything Goes with The Production Company – and Doidge is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, quite the opposite.
Onstage, Doidge will next star as the romantic lead Marius in Les Miserables, commencing previews tomorrow at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne and as if that wasn’t enough, he is also releasing his debut album Let It Sing this weekend!
“I wanted to do something that wasn’t a typical music theatre sound for the album. My first love is music theatre but I wanted be able to share that but in a way that is easy listening for everyone”, he told AussieTheatre in an exclusive interview this week.
“There are some songs on there that not a lot of people know, which is what I wanted,” he explains.
Rare songs, perhaps, but all with a beautiful message and an important connection to Doidge himself. Many of the 10 tracks on Let It Sing were originally performed by females – such as Home from The Wiz and I’m Here from The Colour Purple – and as Doidge admits, opportunities for men to sing female music theatre songs rarely present themselves unless in cabaret or album form. Determined, he teamed up with assistant musical director of Grease Isaac Hayward and set about arranging songs which spoke to him.
“I just love singing female songs. I have always wanted to be able to do that,” he says. “There are so many tracks in there that are quite romantic and beautiful love songs and they all just have a great meaning to me.”
Hard pressed to name a favourite, he spoke with love about each and every track, but singles out one as incredibly special for him. ‘Superboy and the Invisible Girl’ from the Broadway sensation Next To Normal is a duet between a brother and sister character in the show, and Doidge chose to feature his 12 year old sister Hope on the album for this number.
“We are a very musical family. We grew up singing together as a family all the time. I don’t know where it came from, our parents never forced it upon us, it was kinda just our culture. It was what we did – trips away in the car – we would sing all the time.
“‘Superboy and the Invisible Girl’ wasn’t on the list originally. It was actually ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, but I have since heard ‘Let It Go’ so many times – people thrashing out that tune – I thought: ‘I have really got to do something else’!”
Asking his younger sister to work on this impressive undertaking showcases Doidge’s commitment and love of his family. He smiles as he recalls her reaction to his request to duet on the album, and proudly champions her talents and ability. “She was nervous, but she was wonderful!” he grins.
As Doidge prepares to step on to the barricade in Les Miserables, opposite leading ladies Emily Langrige (Cossette) and Kerrie Anne Greenland (Eponine) we ask him if he has enjoyed the rehearsal process and lead up to previews. He admits it has been hectic and tiring, but is thrilled to be working with what he calls an ‘incredible’ group of people.
“We all get along so well! Those girls are beautiful – the first time we saw each other in our costumes I spent a good few minutes telling them how beautiful they looked!”
Euan Doidge’s enthusiasm for life and the arts is infectious. Whether it be live on stage or through your speakers at home, be sure to take some time to listen to this talented young man. He is going places!