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Boy band singer lands role in mother of all musicals
FROM boy bands to Abba, Richard Taylor Woods has found a home treading the boards among the UK’s biggest musicals.
The 35-year-old Kidlington-raised actor has started the second year in hit Abba-themed musical Mamma Mia!
Mr Taylor Woods has found a home in the West End after beginning his career in a boyband aged 20. Britpack had a top 40 single and did the TV promotional rounds on shows such as The Big Breakfast, Blue Peter and GMTV.
While that didn’t scale the heights of Westlife – who the act supported along with girl group Atomic Kitten – Mr Taylor Woods moved on to other entertainment roles. He appeared in a commercial for Renault Master Van and as a catwalk model for Koshino at London Fashion Week.
The West Kidlington Primary and Gosford Hill School alumnus now has theatrical credits under his belt including Take That musical Never Forget, The Fully Monty, Footloose and classic Grease.
As well as appearing the ensemble, the actor, who now lives in London, is also an understudy for three male leads in Mamma Mia! at London’s Novello Theatre.
The show – also a hit 2008 movie with Meryl Streep – is about a woman’s Greek quest to discover which of three men from her mother’s past is her father.
He said of the eight-show-a-week job: “I still enjoy it, it is a fun show to be part of and you always feel elated after each show.”
A keen member of Oxford Operatic Youth Company, he did a BTec in performing arts at Oxford College of Further Education, Oxpens Road, Oxford, later Oxford & Cherwell Valley College.
He left for the bright lights of London in 1998 and didn’t look back, adding: “It is something I always had a love for since I was young.
“I love performing and acting and becoming different characters and conveying different emotions.
“I have been lucky enough to be able to have a career out of something that was a hobby growing up.
“Growing up I was always told to learn a trade like hairdressing or carpentry but I don’t have a love for that like I didn’t with acting.”
Like many stage actors, TV and film roles are coveted but he said: “I don’t notice much of a slump. But there does seem to be slightly fewer jobs to go round. There are a lot of people at auditions.”