Ben Evans, a former West End performer, who starred as Gavroche in Les Miserables, at just eight years old, is coming to Grays this weekend in the role of George Michael, in the new touring production, ‘Best of Wham!’ Ben, born in Swansea, spoke to the Enquirer and looks forward to being back in Essex claiming, “Grays is the place to be”.
Despite performing in such huge productions in the past, including roles in Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys, Ben who is 34 is thrilled to be playing the role of George Michael.
Ben said: “This is the only thing I have wanted to do, George is my lifelong inspiration.”
Received at the age of thirteen, Ben still has his ‘Wham!’ 98’ greatest hits album, and although they were out of his era, he was still strongly influenced by them, as well as George as a solo artist.
Therefore, due to some of his idols; Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley, George Michael, of course, and struggling in school as a child, Ben decided he wanted to pursue a career in music.
Ben said: “My favourite George Michael song to sing was, and still is, ‘Careless Whisper. When my voice broke it was a great song to sing in auditions”.
Ben, when not playing a role, sings as a solo artist, but still includes some of George Michael’s hits.
“When performing ‘Careless Whisper’, I still get choked up. George was such an underrated writer, and it is such an iconic song. The audience always sings it back to me, and they know all the words.”
After seeing George live at Wembley on his Freedom 25 Tour, Ben has an idea of what an enjoyable concert would be for an audience. The ‘Best of Wham!’ show relives this.
Ben explained: “I’m a fan like everyone else; I know what I would like to see from a George Michael concert, so I feel like I have a responsibility to represent him. For me this really is a dream come true.”
The show comes to the Thameside Theatre, Grays on Sunday 18th November 7.30pm. Tickets are available through the box office: 0345 300 5264.