EUROVISION gave Alexis Gerred his big break. The star of the Madness musical, Our House, which tours to the Festival Theatre next week, has his 2010 appearance on Your Country Needs You to thank for his current musical career.
Just 20 at the time, Gerred came runner-up on the show, a position that, in hindsight, was a blessing in disguise.
“I had the best time, it was a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m glad to have moved on from there,” he admits.
“It really did open doors for me, though. I got a lot of opportunities by coming second and I’m really grateful for them.”
Gerred first stumbled on musical theatre while at school when, with ambitions of being a plumber, he found himself cast as Danny Zucko in a production of Grease.
“I wanted to be a plumber, and although I’d always been into acting, never singing. I went for one of the speaking roles in a school production and ended up getting Danny - I’ve loved it ever since.”
Now 24, Gerred has since starred in Dreamboats And Petticoats on the West End and on the Fringe in a production of Fresher: The Musical, among others. This time he’s hoping to remember a bit more about his time in the Capital, he confesses.
“Edinburgh is one of the nicest cities I have ever been too.... but do you know what? I don’t remember most of it because I was drunk.”
The Fringe can do that.
Inspired by the music of Madness, the Laurence Olivier Award-winning Our House is set in mid-80s London. It’s Joe’s 16th birthday and he’s treating his girlfriend Sarah to an evening in a luxury apartment - the only problem is, he has to break in.
Written by Tim Firth, the show features the hits Baggy Trousers, My Girl, Night Boat To Cairo, It Must Be Love and, of course, Our House, which won an Ivor Novello Award.
“It’s a really great show. A dream role for any actor,” says Gerred.
Our House, Festival Theatre, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinee 2.30pm), £15-£22, 0131-529 6000