It’s rather apt that a show whose title is inspired by a song from ‘Les Miserables’ continues to thrive in the year the famous musical saw its popularity hit new heights.
‘Masters of the House’ arrives in Berwick on Friday night with a celebration of the West End’s biggest hits from the era of jazz hands and straw hats right through to the modern realms of ‘Wicked’ witches.
Stephen Weller is a relative newcomer to the cast, starting in the show last year but he is certainly no novice when it comes to the stage.
Landing a part in ‘Les Mis’ while he was still at drama school, Stephen has gone on to star in countless West End and touring productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Martin Guerre’ and ‘The Producers’.
He said being in ‘Masters of the House’ was a fantastic experience for a performer who loves watching musicals as well as being in them.
“’Masters of the House’ has itself been going for 16 years and I’ve had a few West End friends who’ve been in the show and spoke very highly of it.
“I wanted to be involved in something that had some real quality about it and I’ve not been disappointed.
“As an older performer it’s great to be able to sing songs by characters I’d possibly be seen as a little too old for were I to audition in the West End.
“We’d be foolish to ignore modern shows like ‘Spamalot’ and particularly ‘Wicked’ as they have become iconic for a new generation of musical lovers.”
A huge fan of ‘Les Mis’ both before, during and after starring in the blockbuster musical, Stephen said he couldn’t have asked for a better grounding in his chosen profession.
“I was so excited to get into the show, given that I was still studying at drama school.
“It was in its thirteenth year when I joined up and was a big enough phenomenon then and that was well before the film.
“It’s great to have seen the musical reach an even wider audience this year.”
Songs from Stephen’s debut musical are in the ‘Masters of the House’ repertoire a long with many other showstoppers.
“There are so many stand out songs from musicals that we could sing them for days on end,” Stephen explained.
“Musicals appeal to so many because they can be fun or pull at your heartstrings.”