Interview with Garrett Philips - Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack Tour of Las Vegas

On Saturday 3rd February, I travelled to London to see Garrett in 'The Rat Pack Tour of Las Vegas' which was the penultimate show of a eight week sell out at The Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End.  It was a wonderful experience to watch the audience (from the Royal box, no less!) give the cast a standing ovation at the end of the show. Garrett and I had a chance to grab some lunch before the show allowing us an opportunity to chat, especially about the experience from Garrett's perspective. Read on...

Q: What’s it like being part of a successful show on tour like this? 

G: It’s everything you aspire to as a performer. Working with people who are at the top of their game, musicians, cast, and crew. It’s truly humbling. 

Q: What’s your biggest challenge about taking on this role? 

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A: The biggest challenge unquestionably is being away from my family and my small children (7&9). Thank God for FaceTime! The gruelling schedule also makes it tough to fly home. It makes you appreciate how difficult it must have been for Irish immigrants in days gone by. 

Q: What’s going to surprise people about this show?

A: The talent hopefully - it's an Olivier nominated show and is full of great performers. We have a wonderful Ella Fitzgerald. People may also be surprised by the script. It holds up a mirror to the social fibre of that era in American history, exposing its sexism, racism, and perhaps homophobia. 

Q: What’s been your best memory of performing on a West End stage?

A: Gosh. Too many to mention! I pinch myself everyday before I walk onto it. I feel humbled and grateful to be there.

Q: What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

A: I ask the man above to help me do my best. I also imagine my two kids standing beside me giggling saying ‘Go on Dad!’, then I walk on with a smile.

Q: Are you looking forward to Irish audiences in Dublin and Belfast?

A: Immensely! UK audiences are just getting their heads around the fact that I’m not American. Looking forward to seeing friends and family in Ireland. Also, I can’t wait for the Castannettenow night at The Gaiety! 

Q: With the wonderful experience you have had to date with this show, what gem of advice have you got for your fellow actors in Castannettenow?

A: Funny, I was chatting with my Musical Director in the wings before we went on last night. He’s played with them all, Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis, etc. He said "There will be tiny mistakes in any show, but if you are prepared and know your stuff backwards, there simply isn’t any need for nerves." 

As the Tour begins, check out the most recent  reviews of the Rat Pack tour of Las Vegas here:

The Arts Shelf

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