Cue & A: Earl Carpenter, a 19-Year Les Miz Veteran, on His Sole Audition Song, Lying About His Age and Fighter Pilot Ambitions

News   Cue & A: Earl Carpenter, a 19-Year Les Miz Veteran, on His Sole Audition Song, Lying About His Age and Fighter Pilot Ambitions Earl Carpenter, the West End star currently playing Javert in the Broadway revival of Les Miz, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Earl Carpenter
Earl Carpenter

Carpenter began his West End career in Les Miz at the Palace Theatre in 1996, as Courfeyrac. In 2008 he played the part of Javert at the Queens Theatre and then in the 25th Anniversary U.K tour. He was then the Bishop of Digne at London's O2 Arena concert in 2010.

In 2003 Carpenter joined the London cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. He took over the iconic role in February 2005, giving over 1,000 performances. He had the honor of opening the 25th Anniversary Concert of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, as the Auctioneer and reprised the role of the Phantom in Cameron Mackintosh's new 25th Anniversary production 2012-13 U.K. tour.

Other West End, U.K. and European tours have included Peron in Evita, Commander Khashoggi in Queen's We Will Rock You, the world premiere of the Gypsy Kings musical Zorro, Joe Gillis in the original tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, Beast and Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion Theatre and UK tour, Archibald Craven in the Scottish premiere of The Secret Garden, Count Danilo in Carl Rosa Opera Company's The Merry Widow, Alan Ayckbourn's Between the Lines, King Richard in the U.K. touring production of Robin, Prince of Sherwood, Simeon in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Darryl van Horne in Cameron Mackintosh's The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Name: Earl Carpenter
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Southampton, UK. Raised throughout the South of England as well as the Middle East and UAE for a bit of diversity.
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
What your parents did/do for a living: Worry about me and the decisions I make.
Siblings: Just me
Who were you major mentors/inspirations when first starting out? My college lecturer, ex-RSC actor Terry Clarke. Taught me to understand the theatre environment as a whole and the tricks of achieving career longevity in this industry.
Current audition song/monologue: Is it bad I’ve only ever used one song for my auditions? "Race You To The Top Of Morning" from The Secret Garden.
Special skills: Erm…..? I can do an impersonation of Michael Caine.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Erm…..? Impersonating Michael Caine.
First Broadway/West End show you ever saw: It was Oklahoma! To see a friend who was playing Laurie, Josefina Gabriele.
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? The first ever show I was in, Robin, Prince Of Sherwood. I would have loved to have seen how rubbish I was.
Current/recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Has to be Matilda, but also Something Rotten!
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: It’s a little obscure but it’s "Ewigkeit" ("Eternity") from the German production of Tanz de Vampire.
Some favorite modern musicals: The one that’s had the most impact on me is Matilda
Some favorite classic musicals: Has to be West Side Story. This was the first musical I produced and directed back in 1992. Many wonderful memories.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Richard Harris
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Without a doubt, Anthony Warlow!!!
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Seeing Jekyll und Hyde with Ethan Freeman, in Bremen, Germany.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: I wouldn’t say cry but certainly one that evokes some incredible memories is the film score to "Braveheart."
MAC or PC? MAC
Most played song on your iPod: "Baby I’m a Fool" by Melody Gardot
Last book you read: "Creativity Inc" by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull
Must-see TV show(s): "House of Cards"
Last good movie you saw: "The Judge" with Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr.
Some films you consider classics: "II Postino" starring Massimo Troisi
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Kenneth Branagh
Three favorite cities: Edinburgh, Düsseldorf and Dubai
Favorite sport/team/player: Not really into sports, other than playing. Enjoying softball at the mo.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Jeff Wayne’s "War Of The Worlds" on double cassette
First stage kiss: As Robin with Maid Marion. Yup!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: As Hopcroft Minor in a play called The Happiest Day’s Of Your Life.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I couldn’t get into the RAF as a fighter pilot.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Varies but mainly my vocal warm up that was recorded back in 2003 and played from a tape on my Sony Walkman
Most challenging role you have ever played: Darryl van Horne in Cameron Mackintosh’s The Witches of Eastwick. Most challenging but most exhilarating and fun.
What, to you, are the main differences between the Broadway experience and the London theatre scene? It’s mainly the considerations that make up our cultural identity and subsequent differences. Talent is applauded here where as it can be a little more stifled at home. Neither is right or wrong but it’s certainly noticeable.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Oh good grief. I’ve been in this industry for 22 years. I’m responsible for a few classics, but thankfully nothing on Google… yet!
Worst costume ever: Christmas Turkey… now that’s on Google.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Miss Trunchbull in Matilda
Leading lady role you wish you could play: Miss Trunchbull in Matilda
Something about you that surprises people: I’m 52 years old.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Lying about my age
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I can’t, I’m too embarrassed.
Career you would want if not a performer: Without a doubt, a pilot.
Three things you can't live without: Travel, friends and whiskey
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Understand the theatre environment in its entirety, from who does what to why. Master that and appreciate the concept of how to achieve longevity in this industry and all will make sense.
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