Ross loves to rock his hometown audiences.
Star enjoys seeing familiar faces in HMT audience
STARRING in one of the biggest shows of all time is a nerve-racking experience as it is ... But imagine taking the stage for the phenomenally popular Queen musical We Will Rock You in front of a home crowd that includes family and friends. And just to crank up the tension a wee bit more there is a possibility that as an understudy in this West End extravaganza you could be called on to play the lead role. Welcome to Ross William Wild’s world ... not that this Aberdeen loon has been fazed by the experience at all. In fact Ross has loved every minute of the recordbreaking four-week run of We Will Rock You at His Majesty’s Theatre. “Performing in Aberdeen has definitely been my highlight so far,” said Ross, a former pupil of Mile End Primary and Aberdeen Grammar School. “The cast are coming to my place to have a barbecue at the end of the Aberdeen run to celebrate.” Ross said there has hardly been a night at HMT when he hasn’t seen a former teacher, pals from his days at Aberdeen Youth Musical Theatre (AYMT) or people he’s worked with gazing up at him from the audience. He is part of the hugely talented ensemble cast, but is also one of the understudies to leading man Noel Sullivan, who stars as Galileo – a role Ross has taken on once during the Aberdeen run. His nerves were on edge before filling in for Noel, but taking the lead in front of his home crowd was a thrill. “I’ve played him five or six times before on the tour but it’s a different thing playing the lead in front of your friends and family,” said the 23-year-old actor, singer and model who is from Rosemount. “There is a lot more to think about and my adrenalin was sky high. Galileo is one of the hardest parts in musical theatre and that kind of thrill is what I love about being a performer.” While the majority of his time has been spent performing, Ross has also made sure to show the cast the sights of the Granite City – especially the night time attractions. “I’ve been like Van Wilder in Aberdeen – if any of the cast have questions about where to party they come to me and I’ve been getting them on the guest lists. “I’ve also been showing them points of interest and getting them to speak in Doric too.” He has also made catching up with his family a priority – especially gran Ethel. “She’s been ill recently so I’ve been spending a lot of time there. I’ve got Leon Lopez, who plays Britney, staying there too. “She’s an amazing cook and has been looking after him well. There are a couple of the other cast members staying at my mum’s too.” While Ross was involved with AYMT from the age of 11, he has always had other projects on the go. “I studied music at college in Aberdeen and had a music studio in the West End where I’d teach students music. I had 30 students at one time.” At the age of 19, Ross decided to move to Glasgow to concentrate on musical theatre. “I went to study at Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts and I had to learn how to dance for theatre.” The Aberdeen leg of the tour is almost up, and after the year-long run is finished Ross plans to move to London to see what it has to offer him. But for now he’s buzzing after such a successful time in his home town. The Granite City star is not the only person to have hailed the Aberdeen run as a success. Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive Duncan Hendry said: “We Will Rock You has been one of the biggest shows to come to His Majesty’s and we are thrilled with the reaction it has had from Aberdeen audiences. “By the time it closes on Saturday, around 40,000 people will have seen the show and it will have grossed more than £1.2 million – making it the highest grossing show in the history of the theatre. “It has been a delight to work with the whole of the We Will Rock You company. “It has been particularly special because we have a local star performing on stage each evening and of course, we also had the visit of Brian May at the start of the run. “We wish them well for the rest of their tour,” said Duncan.
BIG PART: Leading man Noel Sullivan, centre, with We Will Rock You cast members. SUPERSTAR: Queen’s Brian May playing at HMT.