Hello and welcome to a new little series that I'm going to be doing on here, where I tell you my favourite characters from plays and musicals, who I think are completely underrated! I'm actually going to be doing each one in two parts, so here is Part 1 of the male section! Let's get going!
Shylock - The Merchant of Venice
I saw an RSC production of The Merchant of Venice last summer (twice, oops!) and Makram J Khoury, the man playing Shylock, brought an incredible amount of magic and energy to the character, so much so that the character seemed almost completely reinvented! Shylock is a character rarely spoken about, but Makram J Khoury's portrayal of him was so, SO powerful that he couldn't not be on this list! His personality and motives are so
Perchik - Fiddler on the Roof
Perchik is on this list because he is the only character in the entire show who shows any kind of initiative or sense whatsoever - everyone in Anatevka is starving and hate their lives, but they all refuse to do anything about it! Perchik is on a mission to educate himself and everyone around him, and I think that's something that's frequently forgotten when people think about this show - not to mention the fact he also has a killer song, which is actually one of my favourite musical theatre songs of all time!
Inspector Goole - An Inspector Calls
I really think 'An Inspector Calls' is one of those plays that just isn't talked about enough, but I especially think the Inspector himself is so overlooked! When you're analysing it in an English lesson, you tend to focus on the characters who influenced Eva Smith, and look at how responsible they each are for her death - but because the Inspector only ever saw Eva after she'd died, he doesn't really have a place on the whole 'responsibility scale'. Inspector Goole is such a complex and intricate character, that people don't tend to stop and think about his inner workings - heck, by the end of the play we don't even know if he's real or not! With a name like "Goole" (i.e. 'Ghoul'!) he could have been any manner of ghostly apparition, but we tend to regard him as some random socialist who tried to warn a few capitalists about the First World War!
The Wizard - Wicked
Despite the fact that the original story that Wicked is based on is named after him, the Wizard doesn't really get much attention, and in my experience, his entire section of the narrative is completely overlooked! When I first saw Wicked, I had only heard Defying Gravity and One Short Day, and I didn't know anything about the storyline other than the fact that it was based on the Wizard of Oz, so afterwards I only really remembered Elphaba, Glinda, Fiyero and Boq (who is also mega-underrated!!). I think, especially if you're younger, most of what the wizard eventually 'confesses' to goes straight over your head!
Friar Lawrence - Romeo and Juliet
I think this is a bit of an obvious one, but Friar Lawrence is rarely talked about, despite the fact that he basically instigated the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet! He is somebody who crops up at random points in the narrative, acts as a catalyst, and then disappears again until it's convenient for Wills Shakes to add him back in again! For somebody who pretty much caused 2 of the most famous deaths in literature ever, he doesn't get anywhere near enough credit!
Which characters do you think are underrated? Tweet me @ohmymusicals and let me know!