Neil McDermott plays ‘Philip Stuckey’ in the West End hit, Pretty Woman, based on one of the most beloved romantic comedy films of all time.
Pretty Woman: The Musical features original music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a book by Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton, it is directed and choreographed by the two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.
Neil McDermott stars alongside Aimie Atkinson as ‘Vivian Ward’ and Danny Mac as ‘Edward Lewis’.
You’re appearing in Pretty Woman at the Savoy Theatre, how would you describe the show to anyone who hasn’t seen it?
It’s the most romantic show in town with a score from the legendary Bryan Adams. It’s very faithful to the hit film with all the well-known moments in there, but it has its surprises and is very funny too. It’s a great night out for anyone looking to reminisce and anyone who hasn’t seen the film is in for a treat.
It’s been more than 30 years since the movie was released, why do you think audiences still love this story so much?
It is such an iconic movie of the 80’s and the show definitely takes us back to those times. The story itself is an epic love story, where a girl who is down on her luck changes her own life and changes the life of Edward, the high-flying businessman. It’s a tale of two unlikely characters falling in love. I think people like the fact that two people living polar opposite lives can better themselves through meeting a true love.
Tell us a little about your character?
Well, Philip Stuckey is the lawyer friend of Edward who is driven solely by getting the next big deal no matter who he treads on along the way. He’s interesting, in that this drive for money blinds him from understanding the changes that occur in Edward and his reaction to that is pretty distasteful. He would have to be the villain of the piece but what he represents in terms of human nature, and what a life devoted to money makes him, is very recognisable even today.
What do you enjoy most about playing this role?
I’ve played a lot of ‘baddies’ now, but in the past they have also been the comedy role. In this show he is more understated, and I’ve enjoyed creating a character that is subtler and reveals his true colours slowly throughout the story.
The show has music from Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, what is it about the music that audiences love so much?
It’s a great score which weaves in magic moments from the film into the music but also is very story driven. There are lots of great ensemble numbers and some big show stopping ballads as you’d expect from the team of writers. Fans of Bryan and Jim will, and do, love the soundtrack and those who aren’t familiar so much with their work often appreciate how each song drives the story forward.
You’ve been part of the show for a while now, what’s your favourite memory of the run so far?
The original cast, of which I’m a part of, has been with the show since pre-pandemic so as you can imagine we have had the difficult time of having to close way back in March 2020, which was really tough. But that made the first show back after the lockdown very special, and it made everyone appreciate the opportunity to perform live to full houses even more.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Pretty Woman?
I’d say, what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed if you get yourself down to The Savoy theatre. We promise you’ll have ‘A really good time’ and if you wait it’ll surely be a ‘Big Mistake, Big, HUGE!’ (These are famous lines from the show for those who didn’t know).
Pretty Woman, starring Neil McDermott, is currently playing at the Savoy Theatre