George is ready to glam rock out in stage tribute

George Maguire as Marc Bolan in 20th Century Boy
George Maguire as Marc Bolan in 20th Century Boy

The chance to play a musical hero doesn’t come along too often.

But actor George Maguire is relishing the opportunity to recreate the musical legacy of Marc Bolan for a second time.

20th Century Boy

20th Century Boy

George helped create 20th Century Boy, the musical telling the life story of legendary glam rocker Bolan right back in its workshop stage, before brief appearances on stage in the role.

Now, it’s embarking on a national tour to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Bolan’s untimely death in a car accident days before his 30th birthday.

“It’s amazing to have a chance to play Marc again having been involved from the very conception of the first workshop and performances,” he said.

“I always thought it would be amazing to play him again for a longer time, maybe a tour.

“I love the music, the man, the character. It’s a really special thing.

“I’m a big music fan anyway. Songs like 20th Century Boy, Children Of The Revolution, I always thought were great, but I wasn’t a fan as such.

“But when I first played the role and started researching him, I became a huge fan; I found him inspirational, his approach to life, he was such a unique performer, his drive and ambition all add up to a fantastic person to portray as an actor.

“Beyond playing the role, he’s influenced me as a musician too.”

Bolan’s not the only music legend George has had the honour of playing - he won an Olivier Award after playing Dave Davies from The Kinks in their stage biography Sunny Afternoon.

“There’s a responsibility to fans of these people that you do justice to them,” he said. “No one’s looking for an identical impression, but people want to believe you to have the spirit and essence of the artistes.

“Playing Marc actually helped prepare to play Dave as another well-known person, he was also very unique and had a life very much lived.

The difference with Marc was that he died before he turned 30, and became stuck in time, but with Dave he got older, went on to other things and I got to meet and chat with him and that’s amazing.

“With Marc, he’s suspended in time and fans are protective of his memory. It’s an honour to be able to bring him back to life - without sounding over the top - but allowing people to revisit his brilliance.”

Although trained in musical theatre, George plays guitar and has written his own songs for years.

“I wouldn’t call myself a guitarist though,” he admits. “Each of these shows I’ve had to play guitar on stage and it’s stretched me and improved my playing.”

- 20th Century Boy, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, tomorrow to Saturday.