Currently playing Drew in the UK tour of Rock of Ages, Luke Walsh talks to Giverny Masso about performing the show on a cruise ship, useful advice for emerging performers, and having a twin brother working in the same industry…
What appealed to you about Rock of Ages?
I’d already played Drew on the Norwegian Cruise Lines, about four years ago. I’ve always been a big lover of 1980s rock music and this is one of those shows where you just think: “I want to do that.” I think Nick [Winston, the director] has given the show a lot more heart.
What was it like performing the show on a cruise ship?
I played Drew for seven months, and travelled the world. I actually met my fiancee on a cruise ship – she was a dancer and I was a singer.
Tell me about your character?
Drew is a bit naive – bordering on a bit stupid – but he has a heart of gold and is pursuing his dreams. When his love interest comes along, it throws a spanner into the works.
Your twin brother Damien Walsh is also an actor. What’s that like?
We were both in the Disney series Penny on MARS – the first time I worked with him. Because we’re the same casting, we have been up for the same roles in the past. I once turned up to an audition and he was already sitting there. I said: “I didn’t know you were going to be here.” Sometimes I go to an audition and someone will look at me like they know me – because they actually know Damien.
How did you get into theatre?
When I was 17, I auditioned for the Brit School and I later studied musical theatre at Trinity Laban. At the time, it was quite a new course, so they were trying things out – and almost a few teething problems – but I met lifelong friends while I was there.
What is your advice for emerging performers?
It’s hard because the industry is saturated with talent. For example, the cast I’m working with now is so brilliant, its hard to find the slightest fault with anyone. My advice would be to make sure you work hard – you’re not going to get anything if you don’t. Secondly, try to find something a bit niche – the fact I really enjoy rock singing and I can bring that sound to a lot of things is my speciality.
What are your dream roles?
I’d love to play Elder Price in The Book of Mormon. Or be in Dear Evan Hansen – I love the music in that show.
Training: Brit School, London (2008-09); BA in musical theatre, Trinity Laban, London (2009-12)
First professional role: Dick Whittington, Courtyard, Hereford (2012)
Agent: Fiona Keddie-Ord at Keddie Scott Associates
Rock of Ages is touring the UK until July 2019