Actor Andy Moss on Hollyoaks and Ghost the Musical
PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 April 2017
Andy Moss knows a thing or two about homecomings. As the leading man in Ghost the Musical, he spends his nights returning from the grave to protect his on-stage lover. And as a Northern native, he’s bringing the hit show to his hometown - again. Ben Hanson writes.
The musical adaptation of iconic 80’s film, Ghost, which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and a hiliarious Whoopie Goldberg – with book and lyrics by original writer Bruce Joel Rubin – had its world premiere at the Manchester Opera House in 2011. Re-imagined, with new music by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and composer Glen Ballard, the show then sold out when it returned to the Palace Theatre last year. Andy was originally booked for just three months, but he finds himself still thriving in the role made famous by Patrick Swayze as Ghost the Musical stops at The Lowry from 24 to 29 April.
I caught up with the former Hollyoaks star to talk about his transition from the small screen to the stage.
‘It’s weird to me how mutually exclusive those two things seem,’ he says. ‘There’s this feeling that you either do TV or you do theatre, but I never really saw it as a big shift – just a chance to try new things.’
Andy has spent a lot of his professional life around Manchester. He grew up in Denton, attended drama school at North Cheshire and the Shena Simon campus in the centre of the city. Even the years he spent filming Hollyoaks (which is not filmed on location in Chester; sorry to burst that bubble) saw him in living here and commuting to Liverpool.
‘I could have happily stayed at Hollyoaks for the rest of my life,’ Andy confides in me. ‘The crew, the cast, the comfortable wage, and the chance to go home every night: you can’t buy those things. But there’s always a part of you that’s yearning to see how far you can push yourself, and looking for a new challenge.’
After taking a break to travel the world, Andy came home to find exactly that kind of challenge waiting for him. ‘I’ve never professed to know much about musicals, but I came home with my mind set to do something completely different, so when Ghost came up almost straight away, it seemed like the perfect fit. It was a way to hone some skills from the past and try out some totally new ones.’
We talk a little about that past. Andy and I were young men in Manchester around the same time, when the Northern Quarter was just the right balance of grit and gentrification. Andy was fronting a rock band at the time, and I’m curious how much he carried over from gigging to Ghost.
‘The stamina was the biggest eye-opener. With eight shows a week, six songs a night, and a rollercoaster of rocky numbers, ballads and gospel tunes, you realise how important vocal warm-ups are. And you learn pretty quickly how careful you need to be about pitching yourself rather than going full whack a hundred percent of the time. Without doing all that - and drinking a lot of fresh honey, lemon, and ginger - I’d never be able to sustain it.’
Where next for Andy? ‘I’m lucky that my first role on stage is such an iconic part, in a musical adaptation of a film that’s so close to everyone’s heart. I can definitely tick a few things off my list there. But what’s so good about this job is that you never know what’s coming next. It could be the West End, film, or even more TV. I’m ready and excited for whatever comes my way.’
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