Alfie Boe Interview: Les Misérables, Touring and Cruise Theatre

Author: Josh Stephenson

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West End and Broadway star Alfie Boe loves performing on cruise ships – and there’s one voyage in particular that’s especially close to his heart

What do you enjoy about cruising?
As a performer, I find that a ship is a nice intimate setting, and I really enjoy getting to meet the audience. And then as a passenger I love the fact that everything I need is in one place. The facilities on today’s cruise ships are just amazing.

Did you have any misconceptions before you first stepped on board a cruise ship?
I never have any expectations about anything – that way I can never be let down. And with any venue, whether it’s a theatre, an arena or a cruise ship, you don’t really know what to expect unless you’ve performed there before.

Alfie Boe performing on stage
Alfie Boe performing on stage

Are there any problems that come with working in a cruise ship theatre?
It’s always a bit of a surprise to find a fully equipped auditorium on a ship, but really they’re no different from any other professional venue – they’re just floating! As a touring performer you must see some incredible destinations.

Which are your favourites?
I’m very fortunate to have a job where I travel the world performing, though I don’t always get to see much of the city or country I’m visiting. That said, some of my favourite destinations would have to be Australia, Japan – especially Tokyo – and Italy, for the incredible food.

You’ll be on board Floating Festivals’ ‘Stages’ musical theatre cruise in the autumn. What are you looking forward to most about that?
Meeting the fans! It never fails to amaze and delight me that I see so many familiar faces at my gigs – they are so loyal and it’s always a pleasure to meet them. You’ll be sailing to Dublin as part of the cruise.

Dublin, Ireland
Alfie has close ties with Ireland and the city of Dublin

Tell us about your family connections with the Emerald Isle…
My mother was Irish and I’m lucky enough to have spent a lot of time in Ireland, so I have some great memories. It’s a beautiful country and one I wish I had more time to visit, especially as I still have family there. I don’t know whether I’ll get the chance to see Dublin while I’m on the trip, but I’ll certainly try.

You famously played Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. What do you think makes that show such a hit, and what is your favourite song?
It’s definitely the music that makes Les Misérables so timeless, and I can’t do my own show without singing Bring Him Home. On the Stages cruise I’ll be doing lots of other classics, and I might just throw in some blues and a few big, easy-sounding numbers too.

Alfie Boe is one of the headline stars on Floating Festivals’ four-night ‘Stages’ musical theatre cruise, round trip from Southampton via Dublin, departing 14 October 2019 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas;