Michael Pickering will be starring as gamekeeper Mellors in new musical Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which plays at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 18 and 19 June. I caught up with Michael to find out more about his latest role.
Can you tell me about Lady Chatterley’s Lover?
Lady Chatterley’s Lover is an exciting new musical adaptation of a novel by D.H. Lawrence. We have a phenomenal team working on it, so audiences will be able to see an amazing production.
What attracted you to this production?
I’ve always wanted to work with Michael Bradley, our Musical Director, and I took this as a great opportunity. He is one of the most exciting upcoming MDs in the West End and has a huge future ahead of him.
Were you familiar with the story before you got involved with this show?
No, I wasn’t familiar with the story, and I was surprised at how sexy it is. I got a message from my dad asking how much nudity there is going to be!
How would you describe your character?
My character, Mellors is a young lower-class man, who has been through a war, but he also has his own inner war for a few reasons; he had a really bad past relationship, which started when he was just too young and he’s obviously suffering from some PTSD because of the war. He managed to rise up the ranks, while he was in the army, despite coming from a lower-class family, but when he returns, he is still seen as a lesser person by the upper classes. It’s very much about his struggle and torment within himself and the fact that he’s falling in love but is unsure about whether he can give the women he loves what she deserves.
What can audiences expect?
Audiences can expect a wonderful adaptation of the famous story and every box is ticked for both musical theatre fans and the people that love the original novel. We have six incredible cast members that deliver some amazing vocal performances; it actually sounds like a choir when we all sing together in six-part harmony, because we are able to create such a massive sound and the arrangements by Michael Bradley and John Robinson are just wonderful. They also need to expect visual beauty on stage because the set and costumes are stunning.
How are you feeling about returning to a West End stage?
I can not wait to be back on the West End stage! I was very lucky to have my first job in the West End. After the past year and a half, I think it’s something the UK and the world really needs back and I feel honoured to be one of the first performers to have the opportunity to be on stage at the Shaftesbury theatre, which is somewhere I’ve never performed before, so it’s very exciting.
Can you describe Lady Chatterley’s Lover in three words?
Playful, intriguing, thrilling.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover will run at Shaftesbury Theatre from Friday 18th – Saturday 19th June 2021.
Photo credit: Matt Crockett