Andy Mace is currently treading the boards as grandad in Only Fools and Horses the Musical and, if you haven’t seen it, it is certainly one Del of a show!
Andy was in Potters Theatre Company in the early nineties and still regularly comes back to perform on stage or to stay with his family. He left in 1996 and went straight into his first role in the West End that same year in the Laurence Olivier award-winning show Martin Guerre. Since then, Andy has appeared in many other hits including Legally Blonde, Wicked and in musical The Lion King in the West End.
We caught up with Andy on a recent break at Potters to find out about Potters being his training ground…
Andy, how is Only Fools and Horses the Musical going?
It is honestly the most fun I ever had in a job and is the highlight of my career so far. The show opened early in 2019 and is full of laughs and is so well written. It is two hours of the best bits of the series that people love so much with some songs thrown in and it is a show which makes you feel good. People who love the TV show will love it. When it first opened I played Mike the barman, while being the understudy for grandad, and took on the main role as granddad when Paul Whitehouse left.
How did it feel leaving The Lion King musical after so many years?
I was in that show for five years in the West End as the understudy for Scar and Pumbaa. It is a wonderful show and the audience absolutely loves it, as people have so much affection for it. The thing I don’t miss is the heavy Pumbaa costume I had to carry around for the whole show, as it weighs several stone!
How long were you with Potters Theatre Company?
I auditioned in 1993 and started in February 1994. I was there for three years and it was such an amazing training ground for me. That was when we used to do everything as the entertainments team, day and night. I lived in a caravan and had no rent to pay, got fed and just had the best time and learnt so much.
I actually owe a lot to Mark Brewer, who is a great friend of mine. I wrote to Mark Brewer telling him I wanted to come for an audition and he never got back to me, and then I wrote again being a bit sterner about it. He phoned me and said I like your attitude and I then spent three years of my life at Potters. It was a great time and the best team.
I still get invited back to perform when it is A Night at the Musicals and I love coming back to perform. When I stay with my family, Mark Brewer often gets me up on stage!
How did you get your West End break?
Mark Brewer entered me, Rachel Baade and Reuben from Potters into a talent competition and we got flown to Malta. Reuben won the boys category and Rachel won the girl’s category, but Trevor Jackson, casting director for Cameron Mackintosh, was there and spoke to me and said “Do you want to be in the West End?” He helped get me various auditions and I got Martin Guerre because of that.
Do your children love performing?
My son Alfie is a great singer and my daughter Gabriella is an artist. One thing we do all love though is Potters and we go swimming, do the Kurling, play table tennis, badminton and TenPin, and all love seeing the Potters Theatre Company shows, which are phenomenal.
Potters is like a second home to me and I get to catch up with friends when I visit and keep in touch with everyone. Potters is a really special place and I have so many happy memories from my time there