A PACIFIST'S GUIDE TO THE WAR ON CANCER
Casting has been announced for a brand new musical called A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer. Directed by Bryony Kimmings and in association with Complicite, this new show will be an all-singing, all-dancing examination of life with a cancer diagnosis. Gary will originate the role of Stephen, a young man living with testicular cancer.
The show opens at HOME Manchester on the 20th September 2016, before moving to Exeter Northcott then finally to the National Theatre from the 14th October to 29th November 2016.
More information is available here http://www.complicite.org/productions/APacifistsGuideToTheWarOnCancer
THE HOUSE OF IN BETWEEN - TRAILER
Click here to watch the brand new trailer for the House of In Between playing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until 30th April 2016. Gary appears in the role of Shakti.
Arts Professional PHOTO DIARY
Want to know what tech week in a theatre looks like? Gary gave artsprofessional.co.uk an insight to the tech process for The House of In Between at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.
BBC Asian Network radio interview
Tune in to the BBC Asian Network at 11am on the 4th April 2016 to hear Gary along with Director, Pooja Ghai and writer, Sevan. K Greene discuss all things The House of In Between before the show's debut this Friday 8th April 2016!
The House of In Between
Gary will be returning to the Theatre Royal Stratford East to play the role of Shakti in a brand new play by Sevan K. Greene, The House of In Between. The play, which tells the story of a clan of Hijras in modern day India, will play 8th - 30th April 2016. More info and tickets are available at http://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows/the-house-of-in-between/
Gary previously appeared at the TRSE originating the role of Rashid in The Infidel The Musical in 2014 and is delighted to be returning.
Gary will soon begin workshopping a brand new musical version of Mulan, under the direction of Steven Dexter. With music by Dick Lee and book and lyrics by Stephen Clarke, the workshop proceeds a full production being staged in Singapore in 2017.
Gary will take on the role of Huang Fu for the workshop.
Our Country's Good
From the 19th August 2015, Gary will be appearing as The Aborigine in the National Theatre production Our Country's Good. The play, written by Timberlake Wertenbaker, will be directed by Nadia Fall and features brand new music composed by Catatonia front woman, Cerys Matthews.
Our Country's Good tells of the real life events that occurred when the first convict ship arrived in Botany Bay, Australia in 1788.
More in formation can be found here http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/our-countrys-good
Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
On the Sunday 31st May 2015, Gary will take on the role of Billy in Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens at the Criterion Theatre.
More than 30 of the West End’s most talented performers will take to the stage for the special “one night only” performance in aid of The Make A Difference Trust, with direction by Stephen Whitson and musical direction by Dean Austin.
Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is a song cycle with music by Janet Hood and lyrics and additional text by Bill Russell. The work features songs and monologues inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology.
Please visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk for tickets.
After a hugely successful run in The Infidel - The Musical, Gary will begin rehearsals for Dara at the National Theatre. The play, directed by Nadia Fall, opens for previews on the 20th January 2015 and runs until the 4th April 2015.
Gary will play the role of Jamal.
The Infidel - The Musical
Gary will be originating the role of Rashid in the upcoming musical The Infidel at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The cast is led by comedian Kev Orkian and will also feature Mina Anwar, Andrew Paul and Melanie Masson.The Infidel has a book and lyrics by David Baddiel, who also wrote the film, and music by Erran Baron Cohen. It will be directed by Baddiel and TRSE artistic director Kerry Michael.
The musical opens on October 3rd and runs until November 2nd, with press night on October 15th 2014.
For more information and booking please visit http://www.stratfordeast.com/the-infidel-the-musical
Gary has started an online Tom Daley parody series that can be viewed here.
Join Tom as he discusses all things from his new fragrance Bellyflop by Tom Daley to his first ever pop single Diving Is Good (written by the man himself). Tom also has a treat for his blind and deaf fans...
All sketches are written by Gary and are made with the utmost love and respect!
But I'm A Cheerleader - The Musical
This week Gary is playing the part of Andre in a rehearsed reading of the new musical, But I'm A Cheerleader.
The showcase reading of But I'm A Cheerleader, which has book and lyrics by Bill Augustin and music by Andrew Abrams will take place this Friday 6 December 2013 and marks the first London presentation of the show.
A developmental workshop of the musical had a sold-out run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, receiving the Audience Award for Best New Musical.
Giggin' 4 Good
On Sunday 25th August 2013, Gary will be singing at this year's Giggin 4 Good at the Actor's Church in Covent Garden.
The event will raise money for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and will showcase talent from across the West End.
For more info and to book tickets, please visit giggin4good.webs.com
Gary will be appearing alongside fellow A Chorus Line cast members Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Genevieve Nicole at After Show at London's Hippodrome on Wednesday 14th August 2013. They will be competing against cast members from Les Miserables in an evening of music, comedy, games & chat with celebrity guests & hosts.
The evening is a cross between Who's Line Is It Anyway, Celebrity Juice & Jonathan Ross and is sure to be fun filled! Gary will also be singing live with the in house band.
For more info and tickets check out http://www.hippodromecasino.com/aftershow
A Chorus Line - What We Did For Love
On Monday 5th August 2013, the cast of A Chorus Line performed a charity cabaret in aid of Acting For Others.
The evening gave cast members a chance to show a different side to their personalities whilst helping this wonderful charity.
A recording of Gary's rehearsal for his performance of Beyonce's Love On Top can be heard on Sound Cloud here
Interview from www.broadway.com
Here is an interview with Matt Wolf from www.broadway.com
At 28, Gary Wood is appearing in his third production of A Chorus Line, this time at the London Palladium. As Paul, the soft-spoken gay Puerto Rican whose monologue stops the show with no singing or dancing, Wood excels in a part that earned its originator, Sammy Williams, a 1976 Tony Award. Broadway.com spoke to the greatly gifted and articulate Wood about performing a role that hits close to home in front of his parents, life on the line, and working with Brad Pitt.
You make a huge impact in A Chorus Line. Was the role of Paul always your goal, or was it enough just to be in this show?
No, it was always this part. I’d actually done a production at college where I played Richie, and I was devastated that I wasn’t playing Paul. I really think that I belong in A Chorus Line in this role and this role only. I did the show [as Paul] the year before last in Israel for two weeks, which wasn’t enough to sink your teeth into, so when I heard that they were doing it at the Palladium, I was even more hungry for the part. It was, like, “I have to do this!”
Were you spared the audition process this time around?
Not at all! I was in rehearsals for Hello, Dolly! with Janie Dee in Leicester at the time, but I went through the entire audition process, maybe four or five rounds, traveling back and forth to London. I actually was pleased in a way that I had to work for the part. It felt like I got it off my work rather than because I had known [choreographer] Baayork Lee from before.
Is it difficult getting yourself in the right mental state for Paul’s moment in the spotlight?
To be honest, I try not to think about it and to overanalyze, since that is something I too easily find myself doing [laughs]. I remember in previews Scarlett [Strallen, who plays Cassie] got huge applause for her number [“The Music and the Mirror”] that felt like it went on forever, which is right before I go on. So, there I was, standing in the wings thinking, “Okay, we’re at the point in the show where most people would expect an interval [intermission] and I have to go out and talk.” It terrified me! What I’ve learned is that you have to focus and not worry about how long the audience has sat there.
Do you prime yourself in any particular way?
There are about 10 minutes while Scarlett is doing “The Music and the Mirror,” and I have a little spot I go to underneath the stage. When I first started, I created a scrapbook containing a lot of the things that Paul talks about—Anna May Wong and Cyd Charisse and pictures of what 42nd Street looked like during that time. It’s about reminding myself visually and helping me get inside the part; I can’t have a chat around the water cooler. That wouldn’t put me in the right frame of mind.
I especially like the fact that there is no self-pity or mawkishness to your portrayal.
I’m so glad you think that. When I first got the script, I trusted my instincts, and somehow I thought, OK, the hands in his pockets could make it become very inward, and I didn’t want to do that. I analyzed every detail and thought, “What about this?” and “How does Paul relate to that?” It seemed to me that the point about the character is that he’s not weak and he hasn’t walked out. He’s still there fighting, and he’s willing to stick it out.
Have things moved on in the world of auditions since A Chorus Line premiered nearly 40 years ago?
People at that time probably didn’t speak up as much as they do now. Rightly or wrongly, people have a bit more of a voice today, and they might voice their concerns if they were asked to open themselves up at an audition the way they have to in the show. I don’t know how I’d respond, to be honest, though I’d probably do it if it was a show I wanted.
You’re way too young to have seen the show before in London, but did you know the movie? The album?
I watched the film when we did [the musical] at college but I haven’t watched it since, and I’ve tried to stay away even from YouTube. It felt as if it was between myself and [director] Bob Avian to come up with the way I’m going to do this and to just go with that; I didn’t want my mind clouded by previous performances.
Paul’s monologue is so confessional, especially with regard to his parents. Was that a challenge when your own parents came to see the show?
It was surreal! They came a couple of months ago with my brother, and my mom is coming for a second time with some friends. Quite a lot of what Paul says is scarily similar to me, and there were moments during it when I just wanted to laugh, since there I was telling a story about my mother with my own mother sitting in the front row of the dress circle. But it’s also great in a way, since I couldn’t ask for more supportive parents, so it is lovely to do the monologue and see that Paul has that payoff at the end. People think what Paul says is sad, but the ending is in fact quite joyful: [his parents’] silence is enough to let him know that they accept him.
Before A Chorus Line, you had a long association with the West End production of Wicked.
Yes, I was in the ensemble for a year and a swing for two years. I left college slightly early in order to do that show. I had the best time: Kerry Ellis was my Elphaba and Dianne Pilkington my Glinda, and I still love it when I go to see it.
Changing gears, tell us about appearing in Brad Pitt’s blockbuster summer movie World War Z.
That was such an odd but brilliant experience! I played an Israeli zombie, though we actually filmed in Malta, which I thought would be lovely. As it happened, I spent 14 hours a day for three weeks covered in prosthetics and with corn syrup for blood in the height of summer, being attacked by flies. But of course it was incredible to experience that movie environment, and I did get a few scenes with Brad.
I can’t imagine he was thrilled about being besieged by bloody zombies.
You’re right, he wasn’t. In fact, I think I can say that I was shot by Brad Pitt!
A Chorus Line
Full casting has been announced for the upcoming London revival of A Chorus Line in which Gary will feature as Paul.
The first West End revival, which stars previously announced headliner Scarlett Strallen, will play the London Palladium beginning 5th February. Opening night is set for 19th February 2013.
Joining Gary are Leigh Zimmerman as Sheila, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Diana.