Dave Willetts – Emile de Becque
Dave Willetts has been critically acclaimed both nationally and internationally from Europe to Australia for numerous leading roles in some of the most renowned musicals of our time.
In 1985 Dave played the leading role of Jean Valjean in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre, London, under the direction of Trevor Nunn. In 1997 he re-created the role for the 10th anniversary production of Les Misérables at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia. He played the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Hal Prince at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, thus becoming the first person in the world to play the leading roles in both these coveted musicals. He also played the same role at the Opera House, Manchester, for which he won the Evening News award for Best Performance. Dave created the roles of Major Lee, opposite Petula Clark in Someone Like You, at the Strand Theatre, London, Zero Janvier in the premiere of Tim Rice’s Tycoon at the Sydmonton Festival and Tom in Lonely Hearts, directed by Stephen Rayne. He received huge critical acclaim when he sang the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican Centre, London, prior to performing the same role for the European tour.
Dave has many international concert appearances to his name, including the concert halls of Monterey, Mexico City, Los Angels, Rotterdam and Munich, as well as the Royal Albert Hall, London. As well as numerous sell-out tours of his own concerts, he has starred in a number of highly successful staged concerts including The Magic of the Musicals, Something Wonderful (a celebration of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein), A Lot of Living (celebrating the work of American composer Charles Strouse) and Hollywood and Broadway.
Dave has worked closely with the great American composer, John Kander, for a special concert broadcast by the BBC, and subsequently released on CD. He is also closely connected with the work of Stephen Sondheim, having played the role of Ben in the Irish premiere of Follies in Dublin, George in the regional premiere of Sunday in the Park With George and his portrayal of Sweeney in Sweeney Todd was described by the critics as “….the definitive performance…” Dave created the role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the world premiere of Jekyll at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Dave’s varied musical abilities were shown to great effect when he appeared at London’s famous Pizza on the Park receiving great critical acclaim for his “Jazz ‘n’ Chat” style of dinner shows.
He has presented his own radio shows on national BBC radio, has made guest appearances on most radio and TV shows, and was delighted to be surprised by Michael Aspel when he was the subject of This Is Your Life. Dave has a successful recording career, having four solo albums and numerous show albums to his name. In 1999, he ventured into the world of pantomime, playing Captain Hook opposite Toyah Willcox in J M Barrie’s Peter Pan.
In 2001, Dave appeared as Old Deuteronomy in the 20th anniversary production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats at the New London Theatre, London. In 2002, he starred as Adam Pontipee in a national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He created the role of Vladimir in the world premiere of Let Us Fly, a new musical based on the life of Russian poet and songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky. He also created the role of Father in the European premiere of Ragtime at the International Festival of Musical Theatre, which was subsequently shown on BBC TV and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Then in 2003, Ragtime transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End, where he once again re-created the role of Father.
In 2004 he filmed A Christmas Carol for the Hallmark
Network in America.
Dave created the role of Bert in the hugely successful Go and Play Up Your Own End at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, starring alongside Jasper Carrott. In 2005/6, he once again starred in the national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which subsequently transferred for a season to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London’s West End. Early 2007 saw Dave complete a national tour, starring as Julian Marsh in the hugely popular 42nd Street.
For more information go to: – www.davewilletts.com