Friday 20 September 2019

Former Hear’Say star reveals weight gain required for West End role

Noel Sullivan said wearing a fat suit for the part would have looked ‘really weird’.

Noel Sullivan is playing the part made famous by Jack Black, in School Of Rock The Musical (Rick Findler/PA)
Noel Sullivan is playing the part made famous by Jack Black, in School Of Rock The Musical (Rick Findler/PA)

By Emma Bowden, PA

Former Hear’Say star Noel Sullivan has revealed he had to gain two stone (13kg) in weight for a role in School Of Rock The Musical.

Playing the part made famous by Jack Black in the film version, Sullivan said he was prepared to put on weight for the part and planned to worry about losing it again later.

Due to the physicality of the show, the West End star said wearing a fat suit would “look really weird”.

Explaining his choice to put on the weight, in an interview with ITV’s This Morning, Sullivan said: “Because in the script there’s a lot of talk about the teacher being fat. You can’t do it with a fat suit, it would look really weird.

“It’s live and you are right there. It’s a very physical show.”

Asked if he was worried about losing the weight, he said: “We will worry about it then. In the meantime it’s pizza and pasta for me!”

Set to take on the lead of Dewey Finn in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical until Easter next year, Sullivan called it “an amazing part to play”.

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Sullivan, back right, with pop group Hear’Say (William Conran/PA)

“The kids are the draw really,” he told presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.

“They are playing live every single show. They are nine-years-old … we have three teams of 12 kids …

“Some of them have never been on stage before, they are amazing musicians, you watch them grow and become amazing performers.”

The Welsh singer shot to fame in the British group Hear’Say and has starred in a number of stage roles following the group’s split in 2002.

On how he handled his pop star fame fading, Sullivan called theatre his “first love”.

He said: “I’ve learnt a hell of a lot more about performing during my 15 years in the West End and on tours and the cast you get to work with are phenomenally talented and are doing it eight shows a week, not just three minutes.”

This Morning weekdays & Sunday, 10.30am on ITV.

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