Hampstead raised Cameron makes his West End debut
- Credit: Archant
Cameron Burt started singing in the choir at Highgate School and now stars in the musical Mamma Mia
It's hard to believe it's just over two decades since the opening night of ABBA musical Mamma Mia!
Catherine Johnson's ingenious idea to wrap the Swedish band's hits around the story of a single mum and the three potential fathers of her grown-up daughter, has spawned two successful films and now an immersive dining experience.
But with Mamma Mia The Party due to open at the O2 at the end of August - a three course Greek meal, with songs and performance followed by a 70s disco - Phyllida Lloyd's award-winning original production is still running at the Novello Theatre.
Hampstead-raised Cameron Burt recently made his West End debut as the main love interest Sky.
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Burt, who attended Christchurch Primary and now lives in Dartmouth Park, first started singing while a teenager at Highgate School.
"I joined lots of their choirs and developed a real enjoyment for singing that led to doing three productions with the National Youth Music Theatre from the age of 15," he says.
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"That's where I realised I had a passion for musical theatre and acting. I decided to pursue it as a career when I went to Guildhall School of acting."
Burt, who was born six months after the show started, says he loves the way that musical theatre can "exaggerate the emotions of a character".
"There is something about a piece of music that can add so much more life to a piece of theatre," he says.
After bedding into his part as Sophie's fiancee, Burt believes it's the songs by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson that are key to the show's longevity.
"The songs are so timeless they won't ever go out of date.
"As an ensemble we are all quite young and straight out of drama school, and that energy that we put into the show really does help to keep it fresh. It is also such a strong mother/daughter story that doesn't rely on a male character to push the story forward which is so nice to see.
"In fact the men are having to fight for her attention to accept them back into her life."
At the moment it's Voulez-Vous which ends Act I that's his favourite number.
"The music is so pumping it goes through through your veins."
The fast-moving plot does have its challenges, "Sky comes in at sporadic points and being able to have a character shift within two pages and do it truthfully is hardest," he says.
The physical demands of a West End musical also mean having to keep healthy and get plenty of sleep.
"I never drink that much alcohol anyway but I wouldn't be able to do the show on a hangover, you have that responsibility to give the audience your best so they feel their money is well spent."