Interview Special: A West End Christmas in Glasgow & Falkirk

You can have yourself a merry West End Christmas this festive season by joining Kieran Brown, Jenny Douglas and friends at the Dobbie Hall, Larbert on 8th December and at 29, Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow on 15th December. We caught up with Kieran and Jenny to get in the Christmas spirit and hear all about the concerts. 

How are the preparations coming along for West End Christmas?

KB: All great so far!  I’m just putting together the set-list and liaising with my MD Niall Bailey about rehearsals etc. I learned a lot from doing it last year and I’m trying to finalise who my guests will be as well as what they will be singing.

JD: I emailed Kieran the other day about song choices etc and it’s coming along nicely. The best thing you can do is get all of the main decisions done early as the panto can take over and you find yourself eat breathing at sleeping the show so there isn't but time to do much else, it's going to be a cracking show!

Whats the biggest challenge when choosing songs for the set-list?

KB: Well as it’s a Christmas theme, trying to keep it Christmassy without repeating all the usual songs that people hear when they go into all the shops! I have tried as best I can to balance songs people may know with festive songs they won’t and I’m pretty confident we’ve managed that.

JD: For me I love contemporary comedy songs and finding such songs which are still appropriate for such a vast audience is tricky [laughs] I'm a bit naughty! Also, I agree with Kieran finding Christmas songs that are not overplayed is difficult but I reckon we have nailed it! There are so many beautiful songs out there it's more process of elimination.

Do you have a festive favourite that youll be performing?

KB: Looking forward to one the duets I will sing with Jenny, and I love a song called Christmas Eve written by a friend of mine, which I will perform with a gorgeous choir!

JD: Yes! I adore the song Have yourself a merry little Christmas who doesn't!? That's one of the classics that I love.

Youre performing in Aladdin at the same time, whatre you looking forward to about bringing West End Christmas back to Glasgow and to Falkirk for the first time?

KB: The reaction and feedback last year was so overwhelmingly positive, and there really is nothing similar in either location. I’m particularly excited about the Falkirk show as it’s my home town and already loads of people I haven’t seen in years have booked to come along! I will also be joined by a choir from my old High School, Larbert High, led by my old singing teacher Mrs Wardrop so it’s a bit surreal but incredibly exciting.

JD: I'm super excited! A West End Christmas last year was my first cabaret that I that I'd performed in so it's very special to me and such a lovely thing to be asked to do. Christmas cabarets are perfect for bringing people together during the festive season.

Regional theatre has grown considerably in the last few years; do you particularly enjoy bringing musical theatre to a home audience?

KB: It will be the first time I have done it but the response when I announced the gig tells me that there really is a desire to have more of this kind of thing regionally. It’s definitely got me thinking about trying to bring more stuff home, and opening up the musical theatre world to areas that may not get a lot of it unless they go to Glasgow or Edinburgh.

JD: Being on home soil in itself is a wonderful thing for me but the pride and joy of bringing shows to Scotland is an amazing feeling! I hope that the appreciation of Scottish theatre continues to thrive.

What's the one thing that you would like the audience to take away at the end of your concert?

KB: Well first and foremost, I want to fill them all with Christmas spirit. We are saturated with Christmas from the middle of the year thanks to shops and supermarkets ramming it down our throats. By the time December comes, most people are sick of it. 

Last year the show was credited with bringing a bit of Christmas spirit back to a lot of people so I hope to repeat that. I would also like to introduce people to new writing and inspire them to pay attention not only to the big hitter shows (Wicked, Les Mis etc) but open their minds to paying more attention to smaller, less known pieces.

JD: I want anyone who comes to see a West End Christmas to leave warm hearted having had a great laugh and geared up to celebrate their festivities.

For tickets and more information about a West End Christmas visit