We met up with English actor and singer Danny Mac to find out about his experience on Strictly, where he likes to go to relax in the capital and about his latest role in the classic musical, On The Town, which is showing at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park this summer.
Thank you for joining us today. You’ve had an extremely successful year including getting to the finals in Strictly. Did you have any prior dance experience?
I did some dance while I was studying at drama school, however, I was never a massive dancer. I worked very hard and committed those three years to improving my craft across the board but unfortunately, you can’t perfect everything when you’re doing so much work. The training was incredible, but you’re also training alongside others who have danced since they were very young. So when I joined Strictly it was really a bit like going back to school and learning to perfect a subject that I wasn’t able to at the time.
As well as being a very talented dancer, you’re also an accomplished actor. Did you grow up knowing you wanted to be an actor?
I grew up watching Michael Jackson and musical films like Grease, which led me into wanting to perform and become an actor. I was mesmerised as a child watching these productions. [When] I was around seven or eight, I started auditioning for various productions. Around that time it was Oliver! and Les Miserables that were very popular and I was always too young to be in Oliver! but they kept taking me back and I ended up auditioning for Les Miserables. I’m certain that if I hadn’t done Les Miserables as a kid then I could have easily turned into a teenager and not pursued it – it’s easy to give up when you’re in your teenage years.
One of your first roles after graduating was in the hit show Wicked – that must have been an amazing experience?
When I finished drama school I was lucky to have been offered a role in the West End musical Wicked, the show was full of energy, it was a dream to have had such an opportunity. I also recently had another great opportunity to be part of the Leicester Curve production of Legally Blonde The Musical, directed by the brilliant Nikolai Foster.
Can you tell us some of your favourite places to go and relax in London?
The Southbank is one of my favourite places in the world to go to relax. All year round it's just magnificent. I never tire of it. But being a pretty big thinker, I sometimes need to completely switch off, in which case a great escape for me is always live music or the theatre.
I love city breaks. One of my favourite places outside of London is New York, and also Edinburgh (especially during the festival season). Having spent a lot of time living and working in Liverpool that has to be right up there too. The city and the people are just fantastic and it's getting better and better.
And can you recommend any secret spots in the city? I like to think I'm a bit of a burger connoisseur! I haven't quite tried every burger in London, however, my favourite is Patty & Bun. They're multiplying rapidly but thankfully the quality isn't dropping. It's a minimal menu but they get it all spot on. There is also a really fantastically filthy burger place hidden away above the market in Covent Garden called Meat Market – sister to Meat Liquor.
For a few drinks and something a little different I enjoy introducing people to The Evans & Peel Detective Agency for a drink or two. I won't spoil the surprise if you've not been. Make sure you book online in advance and enjoy.
Who are your favourite fashion designers?
For me, it's Gant, Reiss, Paul Smith and Ted Baker. When going suit-smart, RoomTen has made some great pieces for me and are dressing myself – and the best men, for our wedding later this year.
Brooks Brothers always pull out a cracking variation of a classic suit. But right now Joshua Kane is producing some brilliant work and I recently had the pleasure of putting an outfit together with him personally for this year’s Olivier Awards. He's a huge talent and such a great guy too.
Finally, can you tell us about your new role in On The Town?
On The Town – which is an old classic musical set in 1944. It’s about three sailors who take 24-hours leave in New York City and they go around seeing the sites, meeting women and tearing up the town as best they can during the day. It tells the story of that time and these very, very different characters meeting three very different women. It is a fun show with beautiful music; it’s a real classic; I know it was made famous by Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in the film later on.
I think it’s a great time for the show to arrive, I think people love the escapism that shows like this bring. These shows originated from a time period when the world needed some form [of] escapism, post-war in America and in the UK. I feel like as horrible as it is to say and I know we aren’t in as bad a time as then, I do think people are affected.
To find out more information or to book tickets to see On The Town click here.