Matthew impresses on Broadway

Images by Felix Kunze
Images by Felix Kunze
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It is the most expensive Broadway show ever produced, features a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge and took more in its opening week than any show in history – and it stars a 24 year old from Wendover.

Matthew James Thomas plays Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which is famed for its visual effects and having actors flying around the stage during fight scenes.

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“It is vocally, mentally and physically the most exciting and challenging role I have ever played,” says the star – who until now was best known for playing Jez Tyler in ITV music drama Britannia High.

His Broadway career started when his agent forwarded a series of songs and scenes, which he had to learn in one night before an audition the next day in London.

After impressing, Matthew was flown to New York for a final call back. “I then went home crossing everything I could,” says Matthew.

“We then had a hiatus of nearly eight months in which I had the fantastic opportunity of working on Midsomer Murders with John Nettles in his last year as Inspector Barnaby.

“A few weeks after that I found myself strapped into a harness, standing upside down and singing in front of my two favourite rock legends of all time Bono and The Edge in New York.

“I still kick myself on a daily basis just to make sure I’m not dreaming.”

When he left England for America, Matthew jokes that ‘you have never seen someone so desperate to get through customs’.

“When you enter the US immigrations they ask you what your job is and I said ‘er...I’m Spider-Man’. He wasn’t amused.”

A few years before landing the role, filming commitments meant Matthew missed his flight for a family holiday to New York and he finally met up with them at the Foxwoods Theatre – where Spider-Man is now being shown.

“I looked down this long corridor, waiting for my parents to come out of the show. Little did I know, that very corridor would be where I would be standing warming up my voice every day in two years’ time.”

Although he might live across the pond Matthew still keeps in close contact with his family.

“I love to get updates from my mother’s dance school, The Kercher School Of Dance and see how the students are doing.

“My parents come to New York when they can and I love spending time with them and my sister KT when they come over. I still speak to my close friends often.”

Aside from acting, Matthew is also in the process of releasing an album and has been writing a musical for the last three years.

Visit the official Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark website