Stephen Vowles talks to Owen Dennis, the star of new musical Soho Boy opening in May at the Drayton Arms Theatre

Owen Dennis is to make his professional debut in the world premiere of Soho Boy, a new one-man musical by Paul Emelion Daly. Following a short London run at the Drayton Arms Theatre, Soho Boy will transfer to Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Stephen Vowles talked to Owen about his starring role in Soho Boy. 

Congratulations on getting the role Owen, did you always have aspirations to become an actor and tread the boards?

Thank you very much! Yes from a very young age I would make my own little make-shift stage at nursery and would want to perform for people. My parents got me into youth theatre and amateur dramatic groups and I did that all throughout my childhood so it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

Are you looking forward to appearing in front of a live audience in Soho Boy?

I am very excited to be performing in front of a live audience. I’ve not had many chances to do this since the pandemic. It’s great to see theatres and live performances get back on their feet again!

Do you think Soho Boy raises a focus on being gay in today’s London  and the temptations that may come your way?

Yes I think this show definitely shines a light on a lot of aspects of the gay scene in London. It paints an honest picture through the eyes of a young, naive boy trying to find his way through life. It is easy to get swept up in living this glamorous lifestyle and I think our show handles issues that young queer people often face sensitively. 

What attracted you to the role? It’s virtually a one-man monologue, did you find it a challenge to get to grips with the narrative? 

I won’t lie and say that it hasn’t been a challenge so far. It’s a very unique experience that I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to do. I wanted to get involved with this show as I think it’s important for queer stories to be told and for their voices to be heard. Representation is so important and I feel that a lot of people will be able to relate to this character in a way they maybe haven’t been able to relate to other characters in musicals before. As well as this, the fact that it’s a new musical is so exciting and Paul’s writing is just fabulous! 

From doing the play now, is there any advice you would like to share with your contemporaries?

I’d say keep going! You’ve got this. The industry can be so tough for young performers and graduates trying to make their big break. If people have enough drive and determination they will succeed. Also, always say thank you! Manners cost nothing and it may just make someone smile and remember you.

Lastly please tell Boyz readers where they can see Soho Boy and when the performances are?

The show will be opening at the Drayton Arms Theatre in London from the 24th May until the 4th June. We will then be making our way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where we will be playing at TheSpaceUK from the 5th – 27th August!

Soho Boy by Paul Emelion Daly at the Drayton Arms Theatre, 153 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0LJ from 24th May to 4th June.

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