The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the wonderful David Kristopher Brown. He is currently playing Piangi in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera. He's also appeared in shows such as Sweeney Todd, Blues Brothers and The Play That Goes Wrong.

Get yourself comfy and join us for the next segment of Stagey Chat!

Hi David, thanks for chatting to us today - how are you? Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into the world of theatre?

Hi Zoe, no not at all - thank you for having me! Of course! Hi! I’m David Kristopher-Brown (but everyone calls me Dave, so feel free) originally from Glasgow and I first got into theatre because I guess I was quite a loud and hyperactive child and our next-door neighbours child would go to drama classes, so I think my mum figured it might help me release some energy! Haha! Then I did a production of Pinocchio there and I got a few laughs as Candlewick (Pinocchio’s naughty friend who gets turned into a donkey - well he did in our version at least) and I was hooked! My family have also always loved theatre and I was very lucky that they took me to see live theatre from a young age. 

You've just opened as Piangi in Phantom of the Opera. With your journey starting as an ensemble member at aged 21, how does it feel to have come full circle within the production of such a well-loved show?

It still feels very surreal to be honest. It’s kind of the actor’s dream (or mine anyway) to be able to come back to a role I had covered and be asked to play it - so that in itself is incredible and such a privilege! Now that we are a couple of weeks in, it’s so nice to feel like I really know the character on a deeper level and being able to continue to make choices and discover things about him as the run goes on is super fun and exciting - and not something I was expecting! I guess because the show and the character has been in my life for so long… but it’s a wonderful surprise! 

Phantom of the Opera is one of the longest running shows in the West End. What do you think it is about the show that brings audiences from far and wide again and again? 

Well firstly I think people love the phenomenal score - it’s one of my all-time favourites and genuinely every night hearing the overture makes me so emotional, but other than that, I think it’s the love story at the heart of it! I think people love a romance and in particular a love triangle! Before anyone was ‘Team Edward’ or ‘Team Jacob’, they were ‘Team Phantom’ or ‘Team Raoul’!. Honestly though, I can’t think of many shows which are as epically and sweepingly romantic as Phantom, which is such a joy! 

How did you prepare for the role of Piangi? Is it a different process with every show that you do?

Yeah I think it does tend to be different for each project, just because of the varying demands of different shows or roles and also because working with new people means it’s a different kind of process - which is one of the best things about being lucky enough to do this job! In this particular preparation/rehearsal process, I was quite lucky in that I had sung the role in a concert fairly recently, so the music was relatively fresh in my head. I think more than most, Piangi’s character is in no small part defined by his relationship with Carlotta, so it was great to sit down with our creative team and the magnificent Kelly Glyptis (our incredible Carlotta) and really start to work out their relationship which very much informed how I began to build this version of the character.

From The Play That Goes Wrong, to Blues Brothers, to Sweeney Todd, you've already been a part of some incredible shows. Is there a particular show or role you'd love to do that you've yet to play?

Oh wow thank you, yeah I’ve been super fortunate - The Play That Goes Wrong was my dream show and Robert was my dream role for many years so getting to do that is something I’m immensely proud of! I’d love to play Jean Valjean one day - ‘Les Miserables’ was the show that (like many people I’m sure) made me fall in love with Musical Theatre and that role is just a dream. I also love singing rock and so something like Dewey Finn in ‘School of Rock’ would be another… other than that it’s more just wanting to create something new, maybe even originate a role and also to work with specific companies like National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre of Great Britain. 

You run a wonderful YouTube channel with your wife Sophie. Can you tell us more about the content that you both make and why you enjoy YouTube as an outlet?

Wow, thank you so much! That’s so kind of you to say! Well, we kind of do a little bit of a lot of different things on there like family style content with our son Barney and Labrador Chip, days in the life, some theatre based content too - but one very consistent type of series we love to make is sharing our trips to Disney Parks! Initially we thought we could share it really just so that we would have the videos to look back on more than anything, but people seemed to enjoy them and now we have vlogged six trips between Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris! I think one of the things I love best about YouTube is the connection you can make with people - my wife and I actually met through YouTube 13 years ago! One of my best friends who was a groomsman at our wedding was a friend I met through YouTube too… so yeah, it’s the people! 

As your YouTube is so Disney centred, I have to ask - who's your favourite Disney character and why?

Oooft. This is such a good question but such a tough one. I think it has to be Baymax from Big Hero 6 because he’s just a big squishy inflatable bag of kindness and joy but he can also really kick butt when needed too! 

A question I ask everyone we chat to - my blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

Oooooh another good one. I think the Bridgerton series of books would be beautiful to watch on stage - and especially with how prominent and memorable the use of music was in the Netflix adaptation I feel like it could definitely be musicalised effectively too. Again - another sweeping love story! I think people would dig it! 

Thanks for chatting to us, Dave! You can catch him in The Phantom of the Opera in London's West End, here.

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