Michael Colbourne, who is currently playing the role of Enjolras in the West End's production of Les Misérables, speaks about landing his dream role, playing this iconic and important role, and his most embarrassing moment on stage in this new interview.
What is your weakness/something you would like to improve on, personally and professionally?
- "I often rush things or try and make things 'happen'. More recently I've learnt that by putting in the work and research then it will come and you don't have to force anything. This trait applies both professionally and personally."
Was there a moment on stage where you just knew "This is what I want to do for as long as I can?"
- "On my opening night of Les Miserables in the opening of 'Do You Hear The People Sing?' I was so overwhelmed and it really hit me that I was playing my dream role in possibly my favourite musical. I would say that was the singular moment when I thought I am going to do this forever or at least for as long as I can."
You graduated this year from the Guildford School of Acting, Congratulations! What advice would you give to graduating drama students?
- "Thank you! Only you can make it happen, very rarely is anything going to fall into your lap so you have to prepare yourself for the worst. So expanding your skill set in areas you feel weak or haven't invested much time in is crucial. For example if you did a musical theatre course and then wanted to investigate the TV/film side of acting I would suggest going and doing classes to gain more experience. The wider skill set you have the more employable you are and the more employable you are the more chance you have of getting a job!"
If you could switch roles with anyone in the Les Mis cast for one performance, who would it be and why?
- "Well I would one day like to play Javert. So I would like switch with him and I'm sure David Thaxton, our current Javert would enjoy that too as he played Enjolras several years ago! Javert is such an interesting character to me and the power and control he needs to have is something I've always found interesting."
Enjolras is a vital character in Les Mis, he stands for passion and dedication to his friends and country. Do you relate to him? What attracted you to this role
- "He is quite vital and pushes the story on through his lines. I have always been a thinker and planner which I believe Enjolras is too. I like to always try and know what's going on and as many details about something as I can, Enjolras needs to have this trait too. He gets some amazing moments in the show and I've always been attracted to the role because of this."
What is your guilty pleasure (reality tv, junk food, etc.)?
- "I would have to say Dominos pizza, either a Two For Tuesday affair with my flat mates or Sunday when I'm feeling sorry for myself..."
What is your favorite London spot?
- "Covent Garden has always been one my favourite parts of London as I used to head up there on day trips with my dad. Soho would be a close second as it's home to Les Mis and has everything else you need like great food places!"
Tell us about your first car, first job as a teenager and first acting job.
- "I've never had a car! I had a little 125cc motorbike for a couple of years but never got round to getting a car. I was - as I think we all were - a paper boy... Early mornings delivering 10's of large papers for very little money... No thanks. Les Mis is my first acting 'job' as its the first time I am employed by someone and earning money, but my first musical I did was Jesus Christ Superstar at secondary school, I played Jesus.. It was not easy and probably not very nice to listen to, but I loved it nevertheless."
What is one role that you want to play, regardless of gender?
- "Phyllis in Follies."
How did you discover you had a talent for singing and acting?
- "In Jesus Christ Superstar as I mentioned briefly earlier, I caught the MT bug doing that show and have still got it."
What was your most embarrassing moment onstage?
- "When I tried to do my death blood as Enjolras myself. I squirted the little pipette of edible blood in my mouth and then dropped back into the upside down death position however I didn't tilt my head enough and it ended up going all up nose as the stage was revolving and I was in full view of the audience... I couldn't open my mouth to breathe as I am obviously meant to be dead and my nostrils were filled with fake blood, so I had to hold my breath whilst feeling the fake blood trickling up my nose, It was a disgusting experience."
What is your dream role?
- "Enjolras in Les Mis.... Well it always was before I landed the role. I've not thought of another one yet though."
What is your favorite book, TV show, movie?
- "I am not a massive reader so don't really have a favourite book, but growing up I did love reading 'The Famous Five' books by Enid Blyton. My favourite TV show would have to be 'Friends' I think I've seen every episode at least twice and I still find it funny! I have several favourite movies including Inception and Argo."
What are you most passionate about in your own life?
- "Singing and Acting, I am very lucky to be able to earn a living for what I love doing and am so passionate about. Aside from acting and singing I have always been passionate about marine life and scuba diving!"