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Five Minutes With: Daniel Cooper

Five Minutes With: Daniel Cooper
Dancer Daniel Cooper plays 'Older Billy' in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical – the inaugural production in the beautiful new ASB Waterfront Theatre. MiNDFOOD STYLE caught up with him ahead of final rehearsals.

What do think of the new theatre?

It’s amazing. It’s also a real honour to be part of the first show in the new space. I haven’t spent a great deal of time there yet as we don’t move rehearsals there until next week, but you can see already that it’s an amazing performance space with really good sight lines. You know that it’ll be a great experience for the audience.

What’s your favourite thing about it?

About the show? I’m enjoying the challenge of it. I have a background in dance – my career has been in dance for the past 15 years, mainly contemporary dance – so the “triple threat” of singing, dancing and acting is stretching me. I’m part of the ensemble chorus as well as Older Billy, so there’s a fair amount to singing to get to grips with. I did a fair bit of musical theatre in my youth, so it’s not all new

What was it like being part of the photoshoot?

I really enjoyed it. It was great to work with people from other professional backgrounds – models, hair and make-up and and all the fuss that goes with that [laughs].

How are rehearsals coming along?

Really well. We’ve got another week to fine tune it, but already it’s in really good shape. It’s a big show – two and a half hours – so there’s a lot in it, but we’re really pleased with it. Everyone is really looking forward to it.

And how is it to share the stage with the “mini me” young Billy Elliots?

Well, it’s a bit odd at times seeing yourself on stage [laughs], but they’re great. The three dancers who [take it in turns to] play Younger Billy are all incredibly hard working young men and great performers.

Thanks very much, Daniel. We wish you well with the show – do people still say break a leg?

Yes they do – very much so.

In that case, break a leg!

Daniel Cooper is photographed backstage at the new ASB Waterfront Theatre with MiNDFOOD STYLE cover model Liv O’Driscoll, who wears new season Hailwood with Prada heels.

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