West End Jack heads overseas in new role

Jack Greaves and the new starters at Starlight Express in Germany
Jack Greaves and the new starters at Starlight Express in Germany

A former Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre performer has landed a role in a leading German musical.

Jack Greaves, 24, is going from strength to strength as this week he landed a role in the German production of Starlight Express.

Jack Greaves and the new starters at Starlight Express in Germany

Jack Greaves and the new starters at Starlight Express in Germany

Jack set off on Sunday for the purpose-built theatre in Bochum, which has been staging Starlight Express since 1988.

The fast-paced show is one of musical theatre’s most demanding productions as it is performed on roller-skates.

Jack’s role, as a swing, is one of the hardest roles in all live theatre productions as he will be covering up to 12 different male parts.

But Jack can’t wait to ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and get started in rehearsals.

“The fact it’s on roller-skates is a massive difference,” said Jack. “Each show has its own challenges, but I think the bigger challenge will be roller-skating and singing in German.

“Its a bit nerve-racking, but I suppose it’s a compliment in a weird way. I feel like it’s going to be 12 people to cover, but you have to learn to skate so you won’t be thrown on to a part unless you properly know it.”

Jack will spend the next three months in skate-training school while receiving phonetic lessons.

He started his West End career back in 2012 after graduating from Bird College of Dance and starred as a swing in Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, London.

After a year’s contract at Matilda, Jack quickly made a name for himself and starred in the most recent national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers where Jack took on a leading role as the youngest Brother, Gideon.

Jack said he was very excited to make the move to Germany despite the challenges.

“It’s exciting because it’s a new job and it’s a big move, going to a new country and a different language, but I’ll just have to embrace it,” said Jack. “But my German is terrible.”

Jack practically hasn’t stopped since leaving college and recently starred in the Hackney Empire’s panto as well as being a studio instructor at London’s Gymbox fitness centre.

During Jack’s time in Alnwick, he starred in many high school and Playhouse productions where he took on roles like the Artful Dodger and Riff, leader of the Jets, in West Side Story.

Jack was also a member of the Alnwick Academy of Dance and once won Jazz Factor at the Playhouse where one of the judges, Peter Brown, said ‘he would go far’.