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Jon Robyns

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Jon Robyns
Born (1982-12-08) 8 December 1982 (age 40)
Manchester, UK
Occupation(s)Actor, Singer, Musician
Years active2004 – present
Websitehttp://www.jonrobyns.co.uk

Jon Robyns (born 8 December 1982) is a British stage actor, who is best known for playing the roles of Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q the musical and Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in London's West End.[1]

Early life

Robyns was born in Manchester and grew up in Liverpool, England. Moving to Bristol at the age of 10 he became involved with several local theatre and youth music groups. Performing in such varied shows as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Handel's Messiah to Kander and Ebb's classic musical Cabaret. He worked on new material with Playbox Theatre Company performing NEWS and performed two new operas with MusicBox Youth Opera; Fox at the manger and Brundibar.

In 1999 Robyns moved to Cardiff becoming involved with Welsh National Youth Opera. With WNYO he performed The Beggar's Opera, The Elixir of Love and Dido and Aeneas (again). Robyns was also part of Black Mountain Male Voice Choir – the official Choir of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, singing at Wales games and the opening and closing ceremonies at Cardiffs Millennium Stadium. With his friends, Robyns ran a weekly drama group and worked on a production of Berkovs West whilst studying Music, Theatre Studies and Sociology A Level.

During this time Robyns was part of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain singing in venues around the country including Walton's Belshazars Feast at the Millennium Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

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Liverpool

Liverpool

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England. With a population of 486,100 in 2021, it is located within the county of Merseyside and is the principal city of the wider Liverpool City Region. Its metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2.24 million.

Bristol

Bristol

Bristol is a city, ceremonial county and unitary authority in England. Situated on the River Avon, it is bordered by the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south. Bristol is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-up Area is the eleventh most populous urban area in the United Kingdom.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate. The dates of the composition and first performance of the opera are uncertain. It was composed no later than July 1688, and had been performed at Josias Priest's girls' school in London by the end of 1689. Some scholars argue for a date of composition as early as 1683. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works. It was also Purcell's only true opera, as well as his only all-sung dramatic work. One of the earliest known English operas, it owes much to John Blow's Venus and Adonis, both in structure and in overall effect.

Messiah (Handel)

Messiah (Handel)

Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel. The text was compiled from the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalter by Charles Jennens. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Playbox Theatre Company

Playbox Theatre Company

Playbox Theatre Company is a theatre company for children and young people based in Warwick. Playbox provide training for children and young people aged 3-25 in various different areas, including theatre training, musical theatre, circus, voice and Shakespeare. Based at their purpose built theatre in Warwick, The Dream Factory, Playbox also run training sessions at various outlying centres including Leamington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, Solihull and Banbury. As well as providing training, Playbox also put on a number of productions throughout the year at The Dream Factory, in addition to international tours.

Cardiff

Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales. Cardiff had a Population of 481,000 in 2021. forms a principal area, officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, and the city is the eleventh-largest in the United Kingdom. Located in the south-east of Wales and in the Cardiff Capital Region, Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan and in 1974–1996 of South Glamorgan. It belongs to the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a port for coal when mining began in the region helped its expansion. In 1905, it was ranked as a city and in 1955 proclaimed capital of Wales. Cardiff Built-up Area covers a larger area outside the county boundary, including the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth.

Welsh National Youth Opera

Welsh National Youth Opera

WNO Youth Opera (WNYO) is a training and performance programme for young singers aged between 8 and 25. It forms part of the youth wing of Welsh National Opera, with Youth Opera groups in South Wales (Cardiff), North Wales (Llandudno) and Birmingham. Recent full-scale WNO Youth Opera productions include Brundibár (2019), Kommilitonen! (2016), and Paul Bunyan (2013).

The Beggar's Opera

The Beggar's Opera

The Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera in three acts written in 1728 by John Gay with music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama and is the only example of the once thriving genre of satirical ballad opera to remain popular today. Ballad operas were satiric musical plays that used some of the conventions of opera, but without recitative. The lyrics of the airs in the piece are set to popular broadsheet ballads, opera arias, church hymns and folk tunes of the time.

1999 Rugby World Cup

1999 Rugby World Cup

The 1999 Rugby World Cup was the fourth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial international rugby union championship. It was principally hosted by Wales, and was won by Australia. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be held in the sport's professional era.

Training

In 2001 Robyns attended the 3-year Musical Theatre course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.[2] During his final year Robyns played Sweeney Todd in Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece musical. Other roles at drama school include Teddy in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, Banquo in Macbeth and Jesus in Godspell.

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Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, formerly Mountview Theatre School, is a drama school in Peckham, south London, England, founded in 1945. The Academy provides specialist vocational training in acting and musical theatre, as well as production arts. The President of the school is Dame Judi Dench, and the Principal and Artistic Director Stephen Jameson.

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as the villain of the penny dreadful serial The String of Pearls (1846–47). The original tale became a feature of 19th-century melodrama and London legend. A barber from Fleet Street, Todd murders his customers with a straight razor and gives their corpses to Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime, who bakes their flesh into meat pies. The tale has been retold many times since in various media.

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Joshua Sondheim was an American composer and lyricist. One of the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater, Sondheim is credited for having "reinvented the American musical" with shows that tackle "unexpected themes that range far beyond the [genre's] traditional subjects" with "music and lyrics of unprecedented complexity and sophistication". His shows address "darker, more harrowing elements of the human experience", with songs often tinged with "ambivalence" about various aspects of life. He was known for his frequent collaborations with Hal Prince and James Lapine on the Broadway stage.

Banquo

Banquo

Lord Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber, is a character in William Shakespeare's 1606 play Macbeth. In the play, he is at first an ally of Macbeth and they meet the Three Witches together. After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered by three hired assassins; Banquo's son, Fleance, escapes. Banquo's ghost returns in a later scene, causing Macbeth to react with alarm in public during a feast.

Macbeth

Macbeth

Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, Macbeth most clearly reflects his relationship with King James, patron of Shakespeare's acting company. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy.

Godspell

Godspell

Godspell is a musical composed by Stephen Schwartz with book by John-Michael Tebelak. The show is structured as a series of parables, primarily based on the Gospel of Matthew, interspersed with music mostly set to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ appearing briefly near the end.

Career

Graduating in 2004 Robyns joined the UK touring company of Miss Saigon understudying the role Chris and playing the part on many occasions.[3] After this he played the role of Mark Cohen in Rent with The English Theatre, Frankfurt, Germany. In June 2006 Robyns played the roles of Princeton and Rod in the original London cast of Avenue Q the musical in London's West End. He left the show in December 2007. Robyns was part of the company for the concert version of Chess at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 and 13 May 2008.[4]

Robyns played the role of Marius in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre until leaving the show on 23 June 2009.[5] He has rejoined the cast of Les Misérables during the 25th Anniversary International Tour of Les Misérables 2010 as Enjolras and is on the live recording Album. Robyns appeared at the O2 Arena on 3 October alongside current/previous cast members from across the world in a 25th Anniversary concert.[5]

In 2008 Robyns recorded a song for the CD Act One – Songs From The Musicals Of Alexander S. Bermange, an album of 20 brand new recordings by 26 West End stars, released in November 2008 on Dress Circle Records, and recorded the role of robot ThreeSix in a concept album of Laurence Mark Wythe's musical The Lost Christmas. He has previously recorded material for Whyte and in 2005 appeared in a showcase of one of the composer's musicals at Greenwich Theatre.

In 2011 Robyns joined the cast of Spamalot as part of the UK Tour, performing the role of Sir Galahad. The show toured the UK throughout 2012, before a return to the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

In 2014 Robyns joined the original London cast of Memphis, playing the role of first cover Huey.

In 2015, starred as Caractacus Potts in the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (now named the Leeds Playhouse). The role was latterly taken by larger-profile performers on the subsequent UK Tour, including Jason Manford and Lee Mead.

In 2016 Robyns played Emmett Forrest in the Leicester Curve production of Legally Blonde, and performed in both the UK tour of Sister Act as Eddie and The Wedding Singer as Robbie Hart.

In 2018 Robyns joined the West End cast of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace theatre playing King George.[6][7]

In December 2019, Robyns took over the role of Jean Valjean in the new production of Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre (formerly The Queens). The production was closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Robyns, along with Dean Chisnall (whom, until January 14th 2023, performed as Jean Valjean on the UK/Ireland tour), reprised the role of Jean Valjean in the staged concert version of the show, opening in May 2021.

In 2021, Robyns was cast as Valjean when the Sondheim reopened. As of 13th December 2022, he is still playing this role.

On 18th January 2023, it was announced that Robyns was cast as The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of The Opera ,taking over the role from Killian Donnelly.

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Theatre Location
2004 Miss Saigon Ensemble / 1st Cover Chris UK National Tour
2005 Rent Mark Cohen English Theatre, Frankfurt Frankfurt, Germany
2006-07 Avenue Q Princeton & Rod Noël Coward Theatre West End
2008 Chess Ensemble Royal Albert Hall London
2008-09 Les Misérables Marius Queen's Theatre West End
2010 Enjolras International Tour
2010 Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary Factory Worker O2 Arena London
2011-12 Spamalot Sir Galahad UK National Tour
2012-13 Harold Pinter Theatre West End
2013 Dessa Rose Adam Nehemiah Trafalgar Studios West End
2014 Memphis Ensemble / 1st Cover Huey Shaftesbury Theatre West End
2015 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Caractacus Potts UK National Tour
2016 Legally Blonde Emmett Forrest Curve, Leicester Leicester
2016 Sister Act Eddie UK National Tour
2017 The Wedding Singer Robbie Hart UK National Tour
2018-19 Hamilton King George III Victoria Palace Theatre West End
2019-20 Les Misérables Jean Valjean Sondheim Theatre West End
2021 Les Miserables: The Staged Concert West End
2021-23 Les Misérables West End
2023- The Phantom of the Opera The Phantom Her Majesty’s Theatre West End

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Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is a stage musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. It is based on Giacomo Puccini's 1904 opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's story of marriage between an American lieutenant and a geisha is replaced by a romance between a United States Marine and a seventeen-year-old South Vietnamese bargirl.

Avenue Q

Avenue Q

Avenue Q is a musical comedy featuring puppets and human actors with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty. It won Best Musical, Book, and Score at the 2004 Tony Awards. The show's format is a parody of PBS's Sesame Street, but its content involves adult-oriented themes. It has been praised for its approach to themes of racism, homosexuality and internet pornography.

Chess (musical)

Chess (musical)

Chess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, lyrics by Ulvaeus and Tim Rice, and book by Rice. The story involves a politically driven, Cold War-era chess tournament between two grandmasters, one American and the other Soviet, and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any real individuals, the character of the American grandmaster was loosely based on Bobby Fischer, while elements of the story may have been inspired by the chess careers of Russian grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.

Marius

Marius

Marius may refer to:

Les Misérables (musical)

Les Misérables (musical)

Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a sung-through musical and an adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, by Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer. The original French musical premiered in Paris in 1980 with direction by Robert Hossein. Its English-language adaptation by producer Cameron Mackintosh has been running in London since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks.

Enjolras

Enjolras

Enjolras is a fictional character who acts as the charismatic leader of the Friends of the ABC in the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. In both the novel and the musical that it inspired, Enjolras is a revolutionary who fights for a France with more rights for the poor and oppressed masses, ultimately dying for his beliefs in the June 1832 rebellion.

Alexander S. Bermange

Alexander S. Bermange

Alexander S. Bermange is a composer and lyricist whose musicals and theatre productions have enjoyed successful runs in the West End and around the world, whose comic writing is regularly listened to by millions of listeners to BBC Radio, and whose songs have been recorded and released by many international singing stars.

Laurence Mark Wythe

Laurence Mark Wythe

Laurence Mark Wythe is an English composer, lyricist and writer for West End, international and Off-Broadway musicals. He is principally known for the off-Broadway musical Tomorrow Morning (2011), Through the Door and Midnight. Tomorrow Morning won the Jeff Award in Chicago for Best Musical (midsize) in 2009. The musical opened at the Landor Theatre in South London in October 2010, and off-Broadway at the Theatre at Saint Peters on Lexington Avenue in New York on 31 March 2011 and has played all over the world. Also: Creatives written with Irvine Welsh has been seen in the US and the UK; Extraordinary was produced by the University of Central Lancashire in 2017. He has also written one play's incidental music. The movie adaptation of Tomorrow Morning was shot in 2021 and will be released by Kaleidoscope Films in 2022, starring Samantha Barks and Ramin Karimloo with Omid Djalili, Fleur East, Joan Collins, Henry Goodman and Harriet Thorpe.

Harold Pinter Theatre

Harold Pinter Theatre

The Harold Pinter Theatre, known as the Comedy Theatre until 2011, is a West End theatre, and opened on Panton Street in the City of Westminster, on 15 October 1881, as the Royal Comedy Theatre. It was designed by Thomas Verity and built in just six months in painted (stucco) stone and brick. By 1884 it was known as simply the Comedy Theatre. In the mid-1950s the theatre underwent major reconstruction and re-opened in December 1955; the auditorium remains essentially that of 1881, with three tiers of horseshoe-shaped balconies.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a musical with music and lyrics written by Richard and Robert Sherman and a book by Jeremy Sams. It is sometimes referred to as Chitty the Musical to distinguish it from the 1968 film of the same name on which it is based, written by Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes, and Richard Maibaum. The 1968 film was based in turn on the book of the same name by Ian Fleming. The show premiered at the London Palladium on April 16, 2002, directed by Adrian Noble before opening on Broadway in 2005.

Legally Blonde (musical)

Legally Blonde (musical)

Legally Blonde is a 2007 musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach. It is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name.

Hamilton (musical)

Hamilton (musical)

Hamilton is a biographical sung-and-rapped-through musical by the American composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda. Composed over a seven-year period from 2008 to 2015, the musical tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda said that he was inspired to write the musical after reading the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Miranda says Hamilton was originally a hip hop album in his head. The show draws heavily from hip hop, as well as R&B, pop, soul, and traditional-style show tunes. It casts non-white actors as the Founding Fathers of the United States and other historical figures. Miranda described Hamilton as about "America then, as told by America now."

Source: "Jon Robyns", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Robyns.

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References
  1. ^ "Avenue Q news". Avenue Q. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Mountview Alumni". Mountview Website. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Miss Saigon cast". Miss Saigon tour Website. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Chess concert". Chess in Concert Website. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Jon Robyns Blog". Jon Robyns Personal Blog Website. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  6. ^ BWW News Desk. "Ally Ava Brown and Jon Robyns to Join the Cast of West End HAMILTON". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  7. ^ "New Hamilton West End cast announced". Retrieved 5 November 2018.

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