This week HCX had the pleasure of chatting to, Fred Wheadon, a keen rugby player and actor in the University of Exeter’s Footlights.
Name: Fred Wheadon
Course: Philosophy and Theology
So, we’ve heard you’re a busy guy… Could you fill us in on what you’ve been up to lately?
I’ve been working on a few different things, from trying to keep my head above water with my studies, to playing 1st XV rugby and also rehearsing for the Footlights production of the Phantom of the Opera. It’s been a busy term, but there have been some great highs already and I enjoy being busy anyway.
What is your character like in ‘Phantom’ and do they reflect your own personality?
My character is Raoul, who plays a part in the love triangle between himself, the Phantom, played by Eoin McAndrew and the leading girl Christine, played by Beth Cowley. Raoul is very innocent and naive about love, he falls in love again almost immediately having seen his childhood sweetheart after being apart for many years at the Opera that she is performing in. Although I don’t see much of myself in that sense, Raoul is very honest and loyal and will do anything for Christine, even give up his own life to save hers. I would like to think I can see part of that character in my own personality!
Sounds great! How does the performance fit in with other commitments?
It’s tough to combine the commitments, however this is my third year with the Footlights and so I understand how much time I can dedicate to both. The committee also understand that although I may not be available for all the rehearsal times they wish, when I am there I am giving 100%. The rugby guys are all very supportive about me doing the performance and although at first thought it was a bit odd that I played rugby and did musical theatre, they have got used to it and are coming to see me in the show in January.
Do you see yourself pursuing this as a career?
I definitely see it as a possibility, from a young age I was on the stage and have had the opportunity to perform with many different companies across the country including performances at the Edinburgh Fringe and on the West End. I always thought I was going to be an actor, but I’m moving towards the financial sector first to give that a go.
What has been your favourite performance so far?
I really enjoyed performing in Evita. But playing Action in West Side Story was brilliant and performing ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ was definitely a highlight of my time at University.
What’s the date of the show again?
27th-30th January with a matinee on Saturday. Already sold over 50% of tickets on the Saturday night!
Thanks, Fred! Better start buying those tickets if you want to catch this week’s HCX Campus Celeb in his latest performance.