Benidorm star Hugh Sachs tells Anders Anglesey why touring with Anything Goes trumps working with the big names of the West End.
Mancunian Actor Hugh Sachs is used to playing a posh Englishman on TV and in film, such as his portrayal of Gavin Ramsbottom in the hit ITV comedy Benidorm.
But he will be shedding that image to play the American gangster Moonface Martin in the musical, Anything Goes when the show comes to the Alhambra Theatre , Bradford, next week.
Set to the music of Cole Porter, Anything Goes follows an eccentric cast of characters aboard a London ocean liner bound for New York.
“It’s exciting to get out of your comfort zone and take on the role of someone who is so different to other characters I’ve played,” says the 51-year-old. “Yes, he’s a gangster, but not a very good one.
“He tries to be tough, but always ends up getting into ridiculous situations.
“And to be touring with Sheffield Theatres’ production is something really special. I’m working with so many incredibly talented people.
“Debbie Kurup – who plays the lead role of Reno Sweeney – for example is such a talent.
“Not everyone can sing and dance half as well as she can and she does both, I can’t say enough good things about her.
“In the West End, a big name star, or someone who won something on TV, may be shoved into the show, but here there are so many people with incredible talents that some of the big names don’t have.”
Hugh’s career in theatre and film is a far cry from the one his parents wanted for him.
“I knew I wanted to be an actor ever since I played a goblin in a school play when I was eight”, he says.
“I didn’t have a particularly good time at school and acting awoke something in me that I can’t quite describe.
“But when I said told that I wanted to make a career out of acting my parents were understandably sceptical.
“After university they told me if I wanted to act then I was on my own, so I worked in a box office while trying for three years to get into the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.”
Since graduating at the age of 28, Hugh has not looked back and eventually won over the full support of his family, though he is cautious about what shows they see.
“With some of the shows on TV I’ve told them that they should maybe not watch , but with Anything Goes I really want them to come; it’s such a great stage show.
“People might think that it’s the roles on screen that I enjoy most, but I’ve always wanted to work on the stage.
“There’s something about the audience erupting into a roar, it whips you up into a frenzy of feelings at the end of a show.”
But a roaring crowd isn’t the only perk of being part of a theatre tour.
Hugh said that he enjoys the opportunity to visit great northern cities, such as Bradford and Liverpool, and meet fans who recognise him.
“I love the north, people have been really good to me up here.
“I get recognised as Gavin from Benidorm and it seems much to have a bigger following than in the south and people seem to really have taken to the character.
“And there is so much that I want to see in Bradford, in particular the Salts Mill Gallery.
“ I’m looking forward to visiting the curries houses as well.
“So many people I know have told me I have to try them when I’m here so, I’m definitely going to put that on my list.”
Anything Goes is at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, from Tuesday, March 3 to Saturday, March 7. For tickets call: 01274 432000, or visit: bradford-theatres.co.uk