WEST END BARES: Ethan Le Phong BARES ALL!
WEST END BARES, the hottest theatrical fundraiser of the year, that benefits the Make A Difference Trust, is back bigger and barer for 2016 with two shows on Sunday 25 September at 7.00pm and 9.30pm. After six sell out years, this year’s show is moving to the beautiful Novello Theatre in the heart of the West End. So with just over a week to go to the show we thought what better way to get excited for this year’s performance? Interview some of the cast of course. Over the next week some of the hottest West End stars will be baring all and revealing everything from what they’re doing in the show to when they last got naked.
Ethan Le Phong
Ethan is no stranger to the West End Bares stage having performed there over the last couple of years. He’s also a familiar face on the West End having starred in productions such as Miss Saigon and Aladdin, which he’s currently involved in. Perfect for West End Bares. Of course it helps that he is easy on the eye and has the personality to match. Ahead of Sunday night’s performance Ethan took some time out to tell us all about the show, what he’s excited for and how he feels about taking his clothes off again!
Hey Ethan welcome back, how have you been?
Thanks Craig, it’s nice to be back. Doing well. I’ve been a very busy boy.
How’s the Stripathon going? People can still donate to that right?
Delighted that I am at the halfway mark of reaching my potential target. I do hope that by Sunday night I will have a collective donation of £5000 or more. It’s all up to the fans of West End Bares to help!
Yes, you can still donate at https://stripathon2016.everydayhero.com/uk/ethan
So talk us through a typical day in the life for you right now?
Wow, well, I usually wake up around 7 or 8 in the morning (early bird). I would meditate for a bit. Try to recollect what I dreamt or clear my mind to help set goals for the day. Prepare a small breakfast and hit the gym. If I don’t go, I’ll feel like I ruined the start of my day. Think about doing my taxes. Think some more about them, then …squirrel! For the past few weeks it was either getting to the theatre for cover rehearsals or grabbing my heels for Mad Drag but since that is done, we’ve switched to sword fighting in prep for Excalibare! Take a breather and then play in Agrabah 8 times a week. Rarely have time for anything else to be honest. It feels like I’m always rehearsing for something so I’m looking forward for a bit of a break after Bares.
So for those of us who don’t know you, start by telling us a little about West End Bares and what does it mean to you?
West End Bares is the event of the year for Mad Trust. The show brings in choreographers, dancers, singers, and numerous celebrities for an evening of burlesque all for the sake of charity. The evening helps to raise money for MAD Trust which is a charity foundation that helps raise HIV/AIDS awareness, research, and to help those in need. I think it’s a great event where for one night the theater community and it’s fans can come together and have a great night of entertainment.
So you’ve been a part of West End Bares for many years. What is it about the show that keeps you coming back for more?
I always wanted to be a part of Broadway Bares but never have a chance because I was always working abroad so when I had the opportunity to move back to London two years ago, I took the chance to volunteer and help raise money and be part of something that was very special to me. The show itself gave me an opportunity to work with other people in the industry and have fun with my friends all for a great cause.
As a performer in the show you’ve showed plenty skin. Is that something that feels natural to you now? Or do you still get nervous even after all this time?
I mean, I am not a nudist, but I do feel very comfortable in my own skin. I have done shows where I had to be naked i.e. naked boys singing where I had to overcome my shyness and accept that people are going to stare and you just have to let them. I don’t have the perfect six pack or the body of Hercules so I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I do get nervous if I think they are going to see my love handles (laughing).
Have you been doing anything special to prepare for this year’s show?
Nothing too special just keep a good healthy diet and go to the gym as much as possible. I do try to not have sugar in my diet but who am I kidding, I’m always the first to grab a piece of birthday cake at the theater.
What are you most excited for about the bares experience?
I’m excited for the new venue. It will be interesting to see how it will do in this new theater environment compared to its past experience at Café de Paris.
Can you tell us anything about your performance in the show?
I am performing in a contemporary piece where the men and I are challenged with sword fighting. It’s choreographed by Mitch Leow, who choreographed the Ariel number last year. I think he has a great vision for his piece and I hope everyone will be mesmerised.
Why should people come see the show, apart from helping such a great cause?
It’s truly a great night of entertainment. It’s sexy, flirty, fun, and sometimes erotic, who am I kidding, it’s very erotic but it’s all done with class. And who doesn’t like a bit of skin.
Quick Bares with Ethan Le Phong…
Follow Ethan on Twitter: @EthanLePhong
Follow Ethan on Instagram: @EthanLePhong
See Ethan in Aladdin: Info here
Tickets for WEST END BARES are now on sale and available from www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk, www.seetickets.com, the DMT WEST END BARES booking line 0844 482 5172 and in person at the Novello Theatre Box Office. *Booking fees apply. Exclusive VIP packages are available through DMT Hospitality (0844 482 5166).