This article contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more.
David Hunter, the hugely popular West End star renowned for his impressive performances in hit musicals such as Waitress and Once, is returning to the stage this week, in the highly anticipated musical adaptation of The Time Traveller’s Wife. In this interview, David opens up about his role, shares his thoughts on the show, its music, the challenges it presents, and his profound enthusiasm for returning to this remarkable production.
When asked to describe the show, David passionately told me, “Oh, gosh, it’s an epic love story, is how I describe it. It’s the story of Henry and Claire, a time traveller and his wife, experiencing all the highs and lows of any relationship—falling in love, getting married, becoming parents—but with the added complexity of time travel.”
“The knowledge that Henry could vanish, and then return at any moment adds a captivating twist to their journey. But, it remains strangely relatable to anyone who has experienced the trials and tribulations of partnership, parenthood, and the intricate weaving of two lives.”
This enthralling musical adaptation is based on Audrey Niffenegger’s beloved novel, featuring a musical score composed by the talented duo of Joss Stone and Dave Stewart. David hopes that fans will appreciate the musical’s faithful representation, saying, “This version is very faithful to the book because, there’s been a book, there’s been a film, there’s been a TV series. Clearly, within it, there’s a ripe, exciting story that resonates with people and we want to tell that story.”
David has had a long journey with The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical, having been involved in several workshops of the production before starring in its run in Chester. This experience has allowed him to witness the show’s evolution and refinement over time, making his return to the role all the more special. He shared, “It’s a lovely feeling, walking into rehearsals and thinking, I know most of my lines already, a few little changes here and there, but I know the melodies. I didn’t have to sit around a piano willing melodies into my head.”
Speaking of the music, David described how the score reflects the unique blend of Joss Stone and Dave Stewart’s musical styles. “It’s probably exactly what you would expect a musical by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart to sound like,” he explains, “you’ll hear that funky vibe that Josh has, particularly in some early songs, but it’s graced with those sweeping melodic choruses that will remind you of ‘Ghost The Musical'”
David acknowledged the physical challenges a show like this brings, but emphasised the importance of savouring the experience and being kind to himself. “I just want to remind myself to enjoy it as best I can” says David, “as a young actor, you dream of having all the fun stuff to do— the great songs, the show stealing scenes, the stage magic, and the emotional moments, and now it’s here, it’s actually quite hard work” he laughs, “so remembering to enjoy it too is really important to me.”
David also touched on the sense of camaraderie among the cast and the large team behind the production, “I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a show that has so many people working on it behind the scenes,” he says, “but everyone is so supportive and it’s a lovely warm atmosphere, especially as we welcome new cast members since our Chester run.”
When asked about his favourite moment in the show, David maintained an air of mystery, “there is so much magic in this show, I love it, but don’t want to give anything away, I think audiences will just be blown away by what happens on that stage.”
“What I can tell you is, I really love the song, ‘Journeyman’, it is thrilling and challenging, with lots of mesmerising video elements”.
David is also preparing himself for a gruelling eight shows a week, “when we did the show in Chester I had 39 costume changes, and I suggested maybe we could cut that down this time, so in the West End version I now have….40!”, he laughs. With possibly the most costume changes in the West End, David knows he couldn’t do it without the backstage crew, “it takes a lot of precision to seamlessly execute all this so the story just flows seamlessly for the audience.”
David says there are plenty of reasons people should want to see The Time Travellers Wife: The Musical, saying playfully “Do you want your heart broken and put back together again? ‘Time Traveler’s Wife.’ Me pretty much naked? ‘Time Traveler’s Wife.’ Have you ever wondered what my nipples look like? ‘Time Traveler’s Wife.'”
With his palpable passion for the production and the story it tells, David Hunter’s return to The Time Traveler’s Wife and its arrival in the West End promises to be a captivating and unforgettable experience for audiences as they embark on this heartwarming and time-bending journey alongside this talented performer.
The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical, starring David Hunter is at the Apollo Theatre from 7th October, the Original Cast Recording is available to stream now.