Cheltenham
The Cheltonian > Articles

Making His Move In Theatre

On Tuesday 20th September at Cheltenham Town Hall, Eva Cassidy’s life story will be brought to the stage in Over the Rainbow. Laura Edwards speaks to Brian Fortuna about his leading role in this award-winning musical. crack

Best known for stylishly manoeuvring the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing, Brian Fortuna is now making his move into musical theatre. For his first role he will be playing the part of Danny Cassidy in Over The Rainbow – The Eva Cassidy Story. This compelling musical reveals the life story of Eva Cassidy with the starring role being played by Sarah Jane Buckley.

“This is my first time acting with someone else on stage and Sarah has made me feel so comfortable,” says Brian. “She’s a real sweetheart and is perfect in the role.

The show is great, we only started rehearsals two weeks ago and I’m already loving the singing and acting.”

Brian is certainly excited about this move into musical theatre. Having starred in some incredible dance shows, all over the world he is now looking to prove his versatility and break into the West End.

“It’s a bold move for me to walk away from what is quite a successful career as a dancer, into something I’m really passionate about. I want to be seen as an all round entertainer.”

With landing this latest role as Danny he is off to a brilliant start. But how does being on stage in front of a few hundred compare to being on Strictly with 12 million people watching.

“The buzz from live TV is amazing. When I’m on stage I have the fourth wall so I never find stage fright an issue.

I met some great people while I was on Strictly and still stay in contact with them. Back then I was relying on it being Brian Fortuna and someone else; this is just about me and my performance.”

Whilst speaking to Brian I can hear how focused he is on being recognised beyond his dancing talent. He is a man doing a job is he loves.

“When I wake up in the morning I can’t wait to get to work; that’s what you want from your job.”

This is a fact we all aspire to and with such determination I’m in no doubt Brian will see further success.

Over The Rainbow – The Eva Cassidy Story is on at Cheltenham Town Hall on Tuesday 20th September.
Tickets are £21 and can be purchased by calling 0844 576 2210 or visiting:

www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk