From Fun Home to Waitress, from Next to Normal to Finding Neverland - it's always fun collating the various rumours flying around theatreland. After a very busy...
Paul Spicer played Princeton / Rod in Avenue Q at the Wyndham's Theatre
Date of birth?
May 17 1981 - I have friends that hate their birth dates but I think mine is sort of agreeable. I like the look of it.
Place of birth?
By the seaside, beside the sea in Essex.
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I trained in musical theatre at ArtsEd in Chiswick which was basically the most incredible three years of education I'd ever experienced after hating secondary school with a complete passion.
Briefly tell us how you became involved with Avenue Q
I auditioned and I was lucky enough to get it! It was just one of those times where you speak the lines and sing the songs and just know you fit. It's an honour to be there and to be part of the final West End cast.
Your first stage performance?
I played 'the rain' in a performance of the song "I Can Sing a Rainbow" and I remember hating it because it was dull, boring and unimaginatively staged. Plus there was another boy playing the rain too so I felt totally diluted. I was 5.
Career highlight to date?
My first West End job out of ArtsEd was The Witches of Eastwick for Cameron Mackintosh. It was a show I'd become slightly obsessed with at college and suddenly I was actually in it, surrounded by and comparable to such incredible actors. A huge blessing. Playing Jamie in The Last 5 Years was such a joy as well.
What roles would you most like to play?
Bobby in Company, Gabe in Next to Normal, Mark in Rent, Emmet in Legally Blonde etc etc etc...
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Once, early on in my producing career, we staged a small three hander musical at the Arts Theatre and the set was comprised of lots of props all laid out in a semi circle around us that we then utilised throughout the show. One of the first numbers was a song called "You're it" in which myself and Julie Atherton ran around as kids playing the game in question. First night adrenaline drove me to accidentally knocking into one particular prop which then kicked off a chain of events that saw the entire set fall like dominoes around our feet. I seriously nearly said "Can we start again?".
What is the most annoying part about your job?
A lot of the time my personal life can be compromised by the hours I work which can be quite unsociable at times. You have to work at striking a balance and you can't be everywhere either, so compromise is the key.
Who are your favourite actors/actresses
I'm actually very inspired by my peers and often my actor friends, so Sam Barnett, Julie Atherton, Alexandra Silber, Jonathan Groff, Hannah Waddingham & Alan Cumming to name but a fair few.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
I'd sit down with Walt Disney and ask him exactly what he intended to create and why...
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane which was gorgeous. I'm a massive romantic. I loved Inception but then who didn't? I'm a massive Sandra Bullock fan so any Miss Congeniality or Practical Magic. Retro films like Hocus Pocus, Back to the Future or Beautiful Thing written by Jonathan Harvey and For Your Consideration by Christopher Guest.
Favourite TV programmes?
Not a massive TV watcher, but Desperate Housewives I love, and also the occasional Deal or No Deal. I like to watch the human behaviour in those situations.
Favourite holiday destinations?
Ibiza. So many people have a completely skewed view of the island thanks to the North West parts that can be a bit rough, but the rest of Ibiza is classy and tranquil with a history of hippy communes and peace. I will live there very soon.
Do you have any superstitions?
I don't walk over three drains which is a stupid habit that is left over from childhood, but I do adhere to the historical do's and don'ts of theatre superstition. I've always thought, if nothing else it shows a reverence to the annals of theatrical folk lore.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
A proper coffee machine, a desalinator and my other/ better half.
What are your future plans?
I finish Avenue Q on 30 October but before then I'm producing three shows at the Garrick Theatre, then in the studio to finish off a recording, and then it'll be Christmas in New York time again! And January I'm going on holiday. Until April.