Step Forward: An Interview with Glynn Woods

Glynn Woods' star is swiftly on the rise. Now on his second production with Glasgow Music Theatre, Glynn may still be a relative newcomer to the company, but is already establishing himself as a strong personality, an even stronger performer, and a true asset.

On his first outing with the company, as an ensemble member for 2012’s FAME, Glynn found a natural ability and passion for dance that was previously unknown to him. Having spent over a year developing his new-found talents, mostly with Dance Glasgow owner and GMT resident choreographer Marion Baird, this veterinary student could not be happier to be playing a professional-level dancer, Mark Anthony, at his first ever audition in the upcoming A CHORUS LINE. It's a new kind of limelight for both Glynn and Mark, but while Mark finds himself surrounded by dancers frustrated at his keenness (apart from Val, a friend and supportive voice for Mark when she isn't singing about her surgically-enhanced bust), Glynn's desire to hunker down and work hard is serving him well in unknown territory. Even with a fear of singing solo to overcome, Glynn Woods isn't shy about breaking plenty of personal barriers this time around...


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How’s it going, Glynn?


Glynn: I’m exceptionally tired after what I feel was a really good rehearsal. For once I feel like I was on par with everyone else in terms of performance. Compared to last week when I genuinely went home and wept into my pillow. I’m now looking forward to a good weekend rehearsal, before the break.


Please introduce your character.


G: What, I have to describe my character? Everyone says I’m really typecast. *laughs* He’s a genuinely innocent, naïve twenty-year old, which isn't really me. ‘Mark Anthony. Really Mark Philip Lawrence Tabori. Tempe, Arizona. I’m twenty. And if I get this show, I’ll work real hard.’ A very poor rendition of the Arizona accent there.


We’re given an insight into Mark’s fascination with medicine when he was younger, but we’re not told anything about how he got to be a professional dancer. What are your ideas on his story? How did he get there?


G: I think he’s just a happy-go-lucky chap who’s stumbled on a talent he just happens to have. I really don’t think he went out with the intention of becoming a dancer - there are real parallels with my own story there. Fate just landed on his doorstep, and now he’s standing in front of director Zach in this audition and he doesn’t really know what to do. He’s just happy to be there - going out and grabbing life by the balls.


Mark’s the youngest dancer to make the first cut. What sort of effect does that have on the way the other dancers relate to him, or the way he relates to them?


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G: There are certain characters whose actions towards Mark really stand out. Val takes a shine to him, and he gets along with her really well. It brings out her mumsy nature and maternal instincts – and I guess she’s got the boobs to facilitate it. The other major relationship he seems to have is with Bobby. Mark doesn’t know whether or not to feel threatened by Bobby’s psychotic attitude. He’s a bit creeped out by his creepy smiles.


I think everyone else just has a subtle appreciation of Mark’s innocence. He doesn’t really understand the full seriousness of the audition. That’s pretty apparent in the last scene, when they’re all chatting about what they’ll do when they can't dance anymore, I feel like he takes a step back to let the more experienced adults talk because he’s new to this.


Do you have any particular challenges to overcome?


G: Singing. I can personally vouch for the fact I do sound like a cat’s choir, and I’m obviously the authority on that. I’m loving the dance so much, but as soon as it comes to the singing I just tighten up. Apart from tonight, like I say, when I feel like I’ve taken a step forward and I feel like I was on a par with the others.


Also the accent, because I haven't mastered the accent yet. It’s not right, but YouTube will help a lot during the Christmas break.


This is your first principal role with GMT, and will be the first time many will hear you sing solo. How does it feel to be in that new position?


G: It is exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to it, but with much trepidation. My friends are a lot harsher and more blunt than I am, and they’ll tell me exactly what they think, if they think it’s s***. I have a lot of people to impress, mostly myself. I’m pretty harsh on myself. But yeah, I’m loving the fact that I’m a bigger part of GMT this year, instead of creepy dancer midget at the back of the stage.


Which part of the show are you most looking forward to performing?


G: I think out of everything, I’m most excited for ‘Montage’, just because it’s, like, a marathon number. It’s all about that growing-up phase, and I’m one of the youngest in the cast, so there’s a mirroring thing there. I’m definitely looking forward to that, and second to that would, obviously, be ‘One’. I’m just eager to wear that gold, sparkly top hat. I’m really looking forward to that.


What will Mark do if he doesn’t make the final cut?


G: *laugh* I think Mark would be quite gracious. I think he would definitely want his best friend Val to make the cut, and I think he would probably be more gutted for her than he would be for himself? He’d just focus on… If he didn’t get in, he’d be upset, but with his attitude he’d just take it on the chin, go forth and learn from it.


Would he keep dancing?


G: Yeah, I think he would. He gets his first taste of it at this audition, and he falls in love with the sort of people he meets and the profession as a whole. So I think he definitely would keep on dancing, yeah.

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