LT Exclusive: Q&A with Les Misérables’ Daniel Koek

LT Exclusive: Q&A with Les Misérables’ Daniel Koek

Updated On: May 1, 2018
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    Following its London premiere, Daniel Koek debuted in his native Australia in the Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center production of South Pacific. His credits include Craig Revel Horwood’s award-winning Chess (UK and Italian tours), West Side Story (50th Anniversary UK tour), Pacific Overtures (Leicester Haymarket), Saturday Night Fever (international tour) and lead roles in Songs for a New World, My Fair Lady and The Mikado (Australia). He now takes on one of musical theatre's most iconic roles in the West End's record-breaking production of LES MISÉRABLES.

    LES MISÉRABLES is now in its 29th record-breaking year. Why do you think it has such enduring appeal?

    I think ultimately it's the story. The novel is such a timeless classic; that in combination with the music and lyrics has every ingredient necessary for a successful show...and 29 years later is good proof.

    How do you go about making such an iconic role as Jean Valjean your own?

    Valjean is quite a journey for an actor and I came into it with a very "blank canvas" attitude. I read the novel and studied the facts. With factual evidence of what this man went through, you can begin to piece together his journey throughout the show. In the beginning we meet a man who's spent 19 years in prison for a crime he wholeheartedly defends. His time in prison has made him very wise but also very strong. Valjean is a man that spends his whole life running, and obviously as the years go by he ages throughout the show, but I feel that it is the constant running that ages him the most.

    For any theatrelovers who have yet seen the show, why should they make LES MISÉRABLES top of their must-see list?

    1. 29 years in London's West End is good proof that it is indeed a must-see.
    2. Obviously I'm biased but I think the current cast is very strong in both singing and acting.
    3. With winter fast approaching, this show will definitely warm your heart!

    Do you have a favourite moment or song from the show?

    It changes a lot. I love performing the soliloquy where he tears up his yellow ticket of leave and starts his new life, and I also love the stillness of "Bring Him Home".

    Can you tell us about a typical performance day for you...

    I generally try and get 8 hours sleep a night and throughout the day I stay well hydrated and as quiet as possible. On days when I don't have a matinee I go to the gym - it's so important to stay strong for this part both mentally and physically. I'm also recording a new album at the moment so that is taking up a lot of my spare time with logistics etc. I get to the theatre for about 5.30pm and have a light dinner before doing a vocal warm up with the whole company at 6.30pm, into makeup for 6.45pm and then it's all systems go until 10.30pm!

    Are there any other major musical roles you would love to play?

    I've wanted to the play the Phantom since I was 8 years old, so hopefully that is next!

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