Monday, 5 May 2014

interview with Keith Duffy

SWITCHING from pop music to acting is not necessarily as easy as it looks but for Keith Duffy it has provided him with a second successful career.
The Boyzone singer is still a member of the Irish boy band set up in 1993 and which made him famous thanks to 25million record sales worldwide.
But critical acclaim has greeted his foray into acting thanks to stints in ITV's Coronation Street and stage roles.
Now the 39-year-old is making his London stage debut at Battersea’s Theatre503 in Billy Roche's play A Handful Of Stars.
First performed in 1988, it is set in the Irish town of Wexford during the recession where ‘shot-gun’ weddings are outnumbered only by random acts of violence in the pool hall.
The play was first presented as a stand alone in 1988, and then revived as part of the Wexford Trilogy at the Bush Theatre.
It is being brought to Theatre503 as part of the theatre's Second Look programme.
Keith plays Stapler and although he admits to a few nerves he says he's excited to be in the show.
"I can't wait to get on the stage," he says as we chat during a break from rehearsals.
"It's a great story - full of dark humour - and to be bringing it to London is a great honour.
"The theatre is amazing so I'm delighted to be here. It's a small intimate space and the audience is really close so it's a bit terrifying, brilliant and intense all at once!"
As well as his acting prowess, Keith will be showing off his pool playing skills as the action is set mostly in a pub's pool hall.
"The front room of the pub has all these younger guys and in the back room, where they are not allowed, it's the older ones. I'm somewhere in the middle," he laughs.
"It's a story about what happens to people when they get into all sorts of trouble and their cries for help and attention.
"Stapler has the younger ones looking up to him for advice and guidance and he tries to help them by pointing them in the right direction.
"I think everyone does that when they are young. I know I did - and thinking you know it all when you don't."
And he says the audience will go through a whole range of emotions.
"There will be moments when you roar with laughter and the next when tears will role down your face," he says.
"The first scene is epic and will have the audience gripped from the off. It's fantastic."
Bringing the production to Battersea has also brought back some welcome memories for Keith as he used to live in Balham.
"It's a fantastic part of London and I loved being here. It's so vibrant and exciting and with Streatham and Clapham it's an area I have got to know well over the years so I'm pleased to be back."
And after the run he promises Boyzone fans will see the band in action again with more music to come.
"I love acting and theatre especially What you get out of theatre is immeasurable. It is definitely what I love to do. But Boyzone isn't done yet and we will be back later this year!"

A Handful Of Stars takes place at Theatre503 in Latchmere Road until May 24.

Tickets cost £15, £10 concessions. Call the box office on 020 7978 7040

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