Behind the Scenes with Andrew McGrail
Chu Chin Chow / Arthur Styan of Chu Chin Chow
Tell me about your character in Chu Chin Chow. What do you think of him?
The staging of this production presents the principal actors as stars of the day presenting roles in Chu Chin Chow to the board of the JC Williamson Theatrical Agency. My character is Arthur Styan, who is playing the role of Abu Hasan. Within the musical, Abu Hasan assumes the identity of Chu Chin Chow after robbing and presumably killing him, and continues to amass great wealth through robbing, stealing, sacking caravans and general nastiness.
Arthur has previously played this role in a former production of Chu Chin Chow in Melbourne, and is now assisting Oscar Asche to promote this staging of a fresh, new and much better Melbourne production based on Asche‘s very successful London run.
However, difficulties arise for Styan as the writer and promoter of the show (Oscar Asche, played by Kent Martin), is the very same person who has played the role of Abu Hasan in London for the past 5 years. How do you please an impresario like Asche?
How is this show different from others you’ve appeared in?
Well, we're performing in Geelong for a start, and about time too, I say.
Which is your favourite song from Chu Chin Chow, and why do you think the audience will like it?
I've spent some time helping to "master" our pre-recorded orchestra sound, and almost to a song they have worked their way into my brain. The whole lot sounds like it is the soundtrack to a Hollywood film.
Do you have a favourite line of dialogue from this production? If so, share it with us!
"Open O Sesame". Forgive me, but it is one of mine. I like having a cave full of riches open in front of me.
Tell us about your first stage show and what you learned from the experience?
Ah... high school productions, I started with ushering - just to be involved... with the bonus of getting to see each performance.
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
Think through the lines/ staging/ scene because I can never practice too much.
Book your Tickets to Chu Chin Chow
Watch Andrew triumphantly bring the classic character of Chu Chin Chow to the stage in GSOV’s Chu Chin Chow at Malvern Theatre from 26 – 27 November.
This project is supported by City of Greater Geelong through its Community Arts Grants Program.
Chu Chin Chow
Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria presents Chu Chin Chow, based on the smash hit that ran for 2238 performances on London's West End.
Enter the exotic extravaganza of Chu Chin Chow, a grand Arabian Nights adventure from the rich imagination of Geelong-born impresario Oscar Asche – Victoria’s very own musical theatre superstar!