Paul Keating

Paul Keating is currently playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at London Palladium

11th March

Place of birth?
City Of London

Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I didn't go to Drama School. I got my first job as the main part in Tommy, aged 19, from an open audition. I imagine I would have gone to drama school if it hadn't panned out that way.

Briefly tell us how you became involved with The Wizard of Oz?
I was asked to do the workshop by Jeremy Sams last year. Then when they were auditioning for the production, I had to do a couple of movement calls with Arlene and then I was offered the part.

Your first stage performance?
In Les Miserables, aged 12 as Gavroche.

Career highlight to date?
Tommy at the Shaftesbury Theatre. It was the most exciting year of my life.

What roles would you most like to play?
I'd love to play Che in Evita. I'd also love the opportunity to do some more straight plays. I'd love to work at The Royal Court on a new play.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
The most recent piece of good advice I was given was from Arlene Philips. Knowing how much I struggle with any choreography, she told me not to think of anything that Scarecrow does as dance. To be free, playful and uninhibited. She made me feel safe to make mistakes and make any character based movement come from me.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Doing the telephone song in Little Shop of Horrors with Sheridan Smith and the phones flying off the wall at us, whilst we were trying to sing the song.

What is the most annoying part about your job?
It's feast or famine. Even after a really good job, you can find yourself unemployed at the end of it, with no idea when the next role will come.

If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I would have probably ended up in design. D&C and maths were two of the things I enjoyed most at in school. I'm still interested in design, especially furniture and lighting.

Favourite after-show haunts
Gelupo for a cheeky ice cream. Brick Lane for salt beef & mustard biegels. The Groucho for a Twinkle.

Who are your favourite actors/actresses
James McAvoy. Julianne Moore. Una Stubbs. Leonardo DiCaprio

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Marlene Dietrich. Why did you want to be alone?

What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors?
I'm not a big reader. The last book I read was Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I also enjoy John Fowles & bit of Dan Brown when I don't want to think much.

What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
The last film I watched was PINA. It was amazing. Unexpectedly inspiring and moving. Other favourite films are Amelie, Toto The Hero, Star Wars & Up.

Favourite TV programs?
MadMen. Nurse Jackie. MasterChef. Black Adder II.

Favourite holiday destinations?
New York. Berlin. Chicago.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love anything techie. I'm an Apple geek. I buy T3 magazine & read it from cover to cover.

Do you have any superstitions?

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
My iPad. A freezer full of Ben & Jerry's. Matches

What are your future plans?
I have no idea what the future holds. I try to just take each day as it comes. All being well, I shall be skipping down the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz till February 2012.

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