BOYZONE star Keith Duffy has admitted that acting in an Irish play has eased the nerves for his debut run on the London stage.
Duffy is currently starring in Billy Roache’s A Handful of Stars at Theatre503 in the capital, as an Irish boxer who tries to direct his brother and friends through a recession-ravaged town in Ireland during the 1980s.
Speaking backstage at the play, which is set in Wexford, the former Coronation Street actor revealed that his anxieties ahead of his first run on a London stage were helped by the fact that there was a familiarity with the cast.
"As my first time on a London stage, the nerves are there. But it's an Irish play, and all the characters have an Irish accent, so there's a comfort zone which makes it a little bit easier," he admitted.
He also explained the story behind Roache’s production and the role that his character plays.
"It's a couple of days in the life of a group of young people in Wexford trying to grow up in the downturn in the Eighties. And my character is doing his best to give counsel and steer them in the right direction,” he said.
"And it's very timely. We were going through a recession back then, so it sort of reflects what we've recently been going through. People are working very hard for their living just like they were back then.
Following his stint on the London stage, Duffy will be appearing on the big screen next month in Mrs Brown's Boys D’Movie.
He insists that his role in the upcoming film was a result of a favour to his friend Brendan O'Carroll, rather than an attempt to deliver an Academy Award-winning performance.
"It's only a very small part because he asked me to do it. If you blink, you'll miss me, which is actually quite bizarre because they use my picture on the advertising poster,” Duffy revealed.
“But I play a security guard at the Custom House when the blind ninjas break in. And I'm just looking at the monitor, completely oblivious."
With an increasing acting repertoire, the Dublin native is aware of the work ethic needed to achieve success in the industry, especially so because of the conflicting reputation that being a member of a boy band brings.
"I have to be that much better than everybody else. I need to show them something they haven't seen or didn't think they were going to see to make them want to hire me,” he explained.
“It's tough and this business is a business of rejection and it's something you have to get used to quickly.
"I've auditioned for all sorts of stuff, shows that are similar to Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey. And I'm not fussy. An actor has to be able to be flexible."
A Handful of Stars runs in Theatre503 in London until this Saturday, 24 May
Mrs Brown Boys D'Movie is released in cinemas across the UK on Friday, 27 June