Actor Chris Fountain on boyhood club Huddersfield Town and upcoming Full Monty Tour
The former Hollyoaks and Coronation Street star spoke to the Examiner about the 'Wagner Revolution' as well as his role in the stage show
by Blake Welton
TV and stageshow actor Chris Fountain is raring to go as the curtain is set to raise on the stage version of The Full Monty tomorrow night.
The production, headlined by former Hollyoaks and Eastenders actor Gary Lucy, is based on the 1997 film of the same name which focuses on the lives of six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers who turn to male stripping to make ends meet.
And the Bradford-born actor, best known for his roles in soaps Hollyoaks and Coronation Street, plays the role of 'Guy' in an all-star cast which also includes Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies), Louis Emerick (Brookside), Anthony Lewis (Emmerdale) and Kai Owen (Torchwood).
The six-month tour opens in Bournemouth tomorrow evening (September 21st) before taking in venues as far and wide as Inverness, Belfast and Llandudno before finishing at Sheffield's Lyceum in April 2017.
The 29-year-old is also widely-known as a passionate Huddersfield Town fan, often tweeting about the 'Wagner Revolution' regardless of where he is around the country.
Here, the Examiner's Blake Welton caught up with the actor ahead of opening night to get the lowdown on the performance as well as his thoughts on Huddersfield Town.
So Chris, you’re currently preparing for the Full Monty tour – how’s it going?
It’s going really well. It’s quite a short rehearsal period compared to other things I’ve done, only two-and-a-half weeks, but we’re in a really good place with it and it’s coming together well.
What’s it like working alongside Gary Lucy again?
Gary had actually left Hollyoaks before I joined but we did the Dancing on Ice Tour together and we’ve been good mates ever since. It’s great working alongside him but to be fair the whole cast are a really good bunch of people.
After what happened with you on Coronation Street it must be great getting back into things...
Definitely - that’s all done and dusted now and it’s just nice to be back working.
I actually found out I was doing the play back in March but there was a long casting process before we started rehearsing on August 30th.
The last couple of weeks has been pretty intense - getting everything spot on in such a short space of time and it’s really good to do something in my own accent as well as I’ve had to change it a bit in the past for different parts.
Have you done much theatre work before? Or is it a new experience for you?
No, not at all - I started off in musical theatre when I was younger and the first job I ever did was actually at the Alhambra doing Les Misérables.
Then I got to a point where I was too old to play a child but too young to play an adult so my roles became quite limited. That’s when I moved into TV, starting on Hollyoaks when I was 15.
How does the Full Monty stage show differ to the hit movie? It’s still based in Sheffield right?
It doesn’t differ too much from the film – there’s a few minor alterations but it’s pretty much a stage version of the film with all the characters still the same.
So if you like the film you will definitely enjoy the show.
The great thing about it though is that it will naturally differ slightly from place-to-place dependent on how the audience react to it but it still has a very Yorkshire feel to it.
And talking about Yorkshire – you’re a big Huddersfield Town fan?
So had does a lad from Bradford end up supporting Town then?
Well my Nan and Grandad used to have a couple of pubs in Huddersfield before I was born – the Wagon and Horses on Leeds Road was one of them and both my Uncles were massive Town fans so as soon as I was old enough my Uncle Mark took me to watch them.
Do you remember your first game?
Yeah, I remember being sat in the Kilner Bank Stand, down in the corner and Tom Cowan made a tackle which saw the ball fly towards us and hit the security boards which scared me a bit as I was only five-years-old at the time!
Any decent away trips you’ve been on too?
I’ve been to quite a few over the years when I can – Tranmere, Millwall for the Play-Off Semi-final, Wembley, Old Trafford for the Play-Off Final.
I even went to Accrington Stanley for the FA Cup game back in 2007 - I think we were 2-0 down at half-time but we came back to win 3-2.
All I remember was being stood by the worst tannoy speaker ever and every time the announcer spoke it was squeaking and doing everyone’s head in.
Classic Away Day right there Chris – and your favourite ever player?
That’s a tough one - there’s been a few over the years, Gary Roberts and Anthony Pilkington are two that spring to mind.
I used to like Paul Dalton when I was a lot younger too.
I remember him once scoring from the half-way line – at the time Peter Jackson was in charge.
The opposition keeper had come up for a corner and Dalton was running down the wing and I remember Jackson running on the touchline alongside him yelling him to shoot.
When he eventually unleashed his shot we all held our breathes and it felt like five minutes until the ball hit the back of the net.
I love those moments. Do you get to see Town play much these days?
Since moving down to London not so much this season – I went to a lot of games last year before the move though.
I try to catch as many away games as possible though but it’s a bit rare I get to the home ones at the minute – although I did come up to watch the pre-season game against Liverpool.
What do you make of the Wagner Revolution so far this season?
It’s been an absolutely unbelievable start – it’s such a great time to be a Town fan.
There was a time when things went a bit flat but now it is absolutely rocking every game.
A lot of it has to be put down to Dean Hoyle though – using the South Stand, the ticket prices, it’s all absolutely phenomenal.
Fair play to the manager – he’s helped turned it around as well. I went to the Middlesbrough game last season when he had just taken over and even though we lost you could see what he was trying to do and to see it start to come off now is amazing.
So how far do you think the side can go this season?
It’s a bit like what David Wagner has said all along – there is no limits, we’ve just got to enjoy it while it lasts and see where we end up at the end of the season.
But I think the great start has been important for us and it’s been nice for everyone to start paying attention to Huddersfield Town for a change.
Every since I have been a kid I was only ever to listen to Town on the radio if I couldn’t get to games but now we’re on SKY Sports and we’ve got people at the training ground interviewing our manager.
We’ve never had this type of coverage before - it’s unbelievable.
Thanks Chris – that's great, here's hoping both you and Town have a great six months or so.