Cinema move puts Grantham West End star on the big screen

Glyn Kerslake stars in Merrily We Roll Along.
Glyn Kerslake stars in Merrily We Roll Along.

Grantham-based actor Glyn Kerslake has appeared in front of packed audiences in West End shows including Phantom of The Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.

But his performance in another acclaimed musical this month could potentially be seen by his biggest audience ever.

Glyn, who moved to Grantham three years ago and now lives in Folkingham, is excited by a pioneering move to beam the show Merrily We Roll Along to cinemas across the world.

The 47-year-old actor and singer plays Joe Josephson in a high-tech recording of the hit show to be screened on October 24.

Among some 200 UK cinemas showing the first in CinemaLive’s West End Theatre series are Cineworld Nottingham, Odeon Lincoln and Showcase Peterborough.

It will also be screened across Europe and Australia.

The show is compiled from three final performances of the revived Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End.

Glyn said: “They filmed the performances using tiny cameras, which were located all over the place.

“They we so small the cast were not really aware of them, and there was a live audience, of course, so the recording is very much like a live experience.

“They then edited the recordings down to capture the best moments.”

The new trend follows similar cinema screenings of ‘live’ music gigs, and shows by the Royal Shakespeare Company, but this is the first time a West End show has been featured.

Glyn believes the development could be a major boost for the theatre and arts.

He said: “There are plenty of people who love West End theatre, but it can be expensive and this is a way of bringing shows into the provinces.

“It’s a bit like football, where Chelsea fans, for example, who cannot get to London are still able to see their team on screen.”

Merrily We Roll Along was Glyn’s seventh West End musical in a career which has also included stints as The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Enjolras in Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre and Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi.

Glyn’s move from London to Grantham was inspired by Phantom co-star Shona Lindsay, who lives in this part of Lincolnshire.

Glyn, who comes originally from Devon, said: “I chose Grantham because it is a delightful market town surrounded by lovely countryside and has a high speed rail link to London.

“I was at the age when you both love and hate living in London - love all it has but hate the hassle.

“And when I am on tour or in rep, it doesn’t really matter where I am based.”

At the moment, Glyn, who lives alone at his home in Folkingham is on tour with The Three Phantoms show with Matthew Cammelle and Stephen John Davis.

It stops off in Cambridge on Thursday next week.