YouTube star Joe Sugg sparks bitter backlash from TRAINED actors after landing West End role in Waitress – as they slam theatre for ‘stunt casting’
- It was announced on Monday that Sugg had landed the role of Ogie in Waitress
- However, many criticised West End musical’s producers for hiring YouTube star
- One wrote on Twitter: ‘People literally train for years and go to hundreds of auditions just for minor celebs to get parts just to bring a few quid in’
- Others said Sugg’s fans may not respect theatre etiquette when watching show
Trained actors and musical theatre fans have vented their frustration on social media after YouTube star Joe Sugg revealed yesterday that he’s landed a plum role in a top West End show.
Sugg, 27, who first shot to fame as a vlogger and entered the mainstream after reaching the finals of last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, announced that he will be taking on the role of Ogie in the West End version of Waitress from September 9th.
While the news was greeted with glee by the star’s eight million YouTube followers, there was a fierce backlash from others, who accused the show’s producers of ‘stunt casting’ to sell more tickets.
Joe Sugg shot to mainstream fame after reaching the finals of Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner – now girlfriend – Dianne Buswell in 2018 but actors and musical theatre fans expressed anger after it was announced the star has landed a lead role in West End musical Waitress
Sugg pictured arriving for Strictly rehearsals last year; the star will play Ogie in Waitress. Many have accused the show’s producers of ‘stunt casting’ to sell tickets and say the role should have been offered to a trained actor
The show, currently running at London’s Adelphi theatre, centres around Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker looking for happiness.
Yesterday, the show announced the hiring on its official Twitter account, writing: ‘Welcome to the diner, Joe’, saying Sugg would replace current actor Blake Harrison in the role.
The backlash against not hiring a trained actor began shortly afterwards with industry professionals and musical theatre fans leading the charge.
@oliviacwright99 penned: ‘This is honestly ridiculous – people literally train for years and go to hundreds of auditions just for minor celebs to get parts just to bring a few quid in. I’m sure he’ll play the part well but people actually trained in the field would do such a better job.’
@McInHeather wrote: ‘Unless you’re professionally trained or have a good acting CV under your belt (like Carrie Hope Fletcher), I don’t think YouTubers should be cast in West End shows.’
The show, currently running at London’s Adelphi theatre, centres around Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker looking for happiness
@CaitlinBuller added: ‘You 100 per cent do not need theatre training to be on the stage (CHF proves that) but Joe Sugg In Waitress… REALLY?! His dance experience is from Strictly. He can sort of sing (I guess). But there are so many actors trying to make it and they give him the role…’
Others were more positive, @strangertxzier wrote: The news that Joe Sugg is cast in Waitress has started some drama in the theatre community. Just because someone doesn’t have professional training/didn’t go to drama school doesn’t mean they won’t be good in a show. I’m excited for Joe & can’t wait to see what he does with Ogie!
MailOnline has contacted Waitress for comment.
Sugg and partner Dianne were runners up on Strictly behind documentary maker Stacey Dooley and her professional partner Kevin Clifton, who also became a couple after the show
Others were fearful that the star might prompt a stampeded from overexcited fans and dished out advice on how to behave when visiting the theatre.
@dazgale suggested: ‘How bad are the Joe Sugg fans going to be for the 95% of time hes not on stage. Prepare for the worst theatre etiquette ever to grace the West end.’
@bIuntinski chimed in: ‘joe sugg stans! if you don’t already know how to act, please do some research on theatre etiquette but other than that enjoy the pie show!’
The West End has a history of employing big names to get the proverbial bottoms on seats.
Amber Davies, who shot to fame on Love Island, has been wowing audiences in Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre, although the star did attend stage school before appearing on the reality show.