We Talk to Half a Sixpence’s Leading Man, Charlie Stemp

Actor Charlie Stemp talks to us about his success with Half a Sixpence.

13th October 2016

Hotel 41

Congratulations on the West End transfer of Half a Sixpence, how does it feel to play your first leading West End role?

It feels like a dream. I think it is secretly most performers’ dream to be able to say that they were or are a West End lead. I feel very privileged to be part of that group.

What can London audiences expect from Half a Sixpence?

Audiences can expect lots of hilariously fun numbers full of life – and perhaps a banjo or two…

Half a Sixpence

What’s different about this new version of the show?

Well quite a lot actually – every aspect of the show has been modified. The music and lyrics have been beautifully updated and added to by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and the script has been remastered by Lord Julian Fellowes. There’s excellent new choreography by Andrew Wright, Graham Hurman conducts the show with such grace, and our director Rachel Kavanaugh has worked tirelessly to make the show the brilliant production that it is today. Then there’s our producer, Cameron Mackintosh, who has been there to give guidance and advice throughout. The team really have brought the show into the 21st century and made it very different from the original.

You’re on stage for practically every scene in the show, how do you keep your energy up?

Well I have always been very energetic, though I don’t really think about it until after the show finishes if I’m honest. But I do sleep a lot and eat at least four large meals a day.

Half a Sixpence

What’s the biggest challenge of taking on this role?

For me, the biggest challenge has been pacing myself. My work ethic has always been based on giving everything 110% – but when you’re in rehearsals every day for eight weeks going over numbers four or five times in a row, you have to learn to pace yourself so that you can get through the day.

What’s it like working with producer Cameron Mackintosh, Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes and the rest of the creative team?

It has been incredible. Every member of the creative team is at the very top in their field and to be able to work with such a talented bunch will be something I won’t ever forget. From day one I’ve had nothing but support and guidance from every single one of them.

Half a Sixpence

What’s your favourite moment in the show?

That is a tough one, but I would have to say one of either “Pick Out A Simple Tune” or “Flash, Bang, Wallop!”. Both are great company numbers that always get the audience going.

Why should groups come to see Half a Sixpence?

Because it’s unlike anything else that’s on in the West End. I guarantee you will leave humming “Flash, Bang, Wallop!” and smiling ear to ear.

Catch a performance of Half a Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Related Articles

Premium Purity
Creating a healthier environment

Through a proprietary coating, our hotel surfaces are now self-disinfecting and an active participant in the continuous decomposition of microbes such as bacteria and viruses.

20th July 2020

Teams across the world
Reflections of gratitude

Brett Tollman reflects on the gift of travel and shares his favourite stories from across the TTC family network.

22nd June 2020

Chef experience
We are family

In celebration of families, Vicki Tollman reflects on the importance of loved ones during this uncertain time.

15th May 2020