Star channels his inner John Travolta for dance role
BEFORE taking on his current touring theatre role, former Casualty star Richard Winsor had to learn to walk.
Not just any old one-foot-infront-of-the-other walk, but the most difficult walk ever seen on the film screen.
This is a walk that symbolises swagger, the belief that anything is possible – the sidewalk walk of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Now, Richard is set to bring his walk, and indeed his dance moves to Glasgow when he plays the part of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, the stage musical.
But how can an actor from Nottinghamshire develop a Brooklyn brio?
How can hope to convince a King’s theatre audience he is a disco deity?
It turns out Richard in fact trained at the Central School of Ballet and has starred in several Matthew Bourne productions.
And as for producing a little of the cockiness Travolta revealed 40 years ago?
The actor and dancer grins as he admits he has used his special powers several times in the past.
“I remember being at weddings where I did get a little circle around me,” he recalls. “This happened in the clubs a few times as well.
“And I have to admit it was lovely to get the attention.”
Richard, who also played the lead in 2010 movie Streetdance, where ballet met club dance, says it’s fantastic to be able to reveal a classical styles in a modern context.
“Yes, it’s great to surprise people.”
Female people, Richard? Were you catnip to the ladies who surrounded the dance floor?
“I’m not sure about catnip,” he says, smiling.
What the role requires, he acknowledges, is an effortless charm.
Did he reach into his own character for the confidence?
“I’ve got an element of it,” he says, grinning. “I’m an actor. But for me it was about finding the rhythm and flow of the piece itself.
“Yet, I never imagined I’d be stepping into Travolta’s shoes. I love the challenge however and I’ve always had a huge respect for him.”
He adds; “John Travolta’s performance in the film Saturday Night Fever was what got me dancing as a kid. The disco scenes, his solo, his very masculine energy, inspired me.”
Saturday Night Fever was a worldwide success story, the tale of the sultry New Yorker who finds redemption in dance, where he meets a woman capable of coping with his arrogance.
The film was so dark it had to be edited before being given a 12 certificate in the UK.
“Tony, we learn, goes on this journey. And even though he has the charisma and charm, he’s not really a nice person to those around him.”
“He sort of gets away with it