WEST End star Gary Wilmot is returning to South Bucks with a wartime show, Radio Times, which he said is 'dramatic, sad and funny'. The performer lived in the area for ten years and when he returns to the Swan next week he will also switch on the Christmas Lights which he said will be "an honour".
Gary was brimming with excitement for Radio Times when I spoke to him on the phone. He has reprised his role as Sammy Shaw alongside Olivier Award Winner Sara Crowe as Olive James, and everyone in the show plays an instrument.
He said: "It is a really fantastic tour and a fantastic show. I am pleased to fly the flag for it.
"I wouldn't suggest you look at the poster and think this was an excuse for a bunch or war songs. It is a show for everybody."
He said it is a lovely story of performers doing their very best to put on a radio show to the nation and to America, while trying to work under extremely difficult conditions during World War Two.
Gary added: "Everyone in it is just absolutely brilliant. Not only is it a dramatic show, there are some quite sad moments, but it is a really funny show.
"I have done some good shows in my time... This is the most talented bunch of people I have ever worked with. They are extraordinary."
He said people have been going away very happy and he hopes it will encourage more people to go the theatre.
Gary said: "I have been told people are going to see already established titles. But this means they are going to miss out on some good stuff. "When you go and see a show like Matilda in the West End- that is what it is all about.
"I have seen shows with even more money spent on them and they are not good."
He said he describes a good show as "massaging the emotions." He said: "If I have seen the production and I haven't laughed once or cried once it hasn't done it for me. I need to feel for the characters."
The musical features classic songs by Noel Gay, composer of Me and My Girl, which of course was Gary's first big stage show. He said he most enjoyed performing in Me and My Girl as it was his first show and first success.
Gary has starred in many West End musicals including Copacabana, Carmen Jones, The Wizard of Oz and Chicago. He is hoping Radio Times will go to the West End next year. Gary lived in Hazlemere ten years ago before he moved to Beaconsfield about three years ago. He now lives in North Bucks.
He said it would be an "honour" to switch the lights on in High Wycombe next Thursday, which he will do before the show starts at 7.30pm.
He said: "I have got lots of friends in the area still.
"I like the Swan. I have seen things there many times and performed there many times.
"I like that place very much and I like the work they have done with the Youth Theatre."
Radio Times The Musical is at the Wycombe Swan from November 21-25 at 7.30pm. Tickets range from £15.50 to £28.50 from 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk
For more leisure stories, I Love My Local, restaurant reviews and interviews with stars go to www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/leisure