From banking to theatre star

Damian Kneale

Damian Kneale

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By day he’s a 21 year-old from Douglas who dons a shirt and tie and works as part of the telephone team at Lloyds Bank.

Now in his fourth year with the bank, the customer service officer can be seen walking to work most mornings before arriving at his desk on the second floor of Peveril Buildings in Peveril Square.

Damian Kneale

Damian Kneale

But once the 9-5 day is done, life has taken a very different yet distinctive turn for Damian Kneale.

Indeed, from next week, Damian Kneale becomes Joe Gillis, the unsuccessful down-and-out screenwriter whose life changes as he crashes into the fantasy world of a faded movie star.

It’s a tale of heartache and tragedy and ambition .. told against the fabulous background of Hollywood.

‘That is as exciting as it sounds,’ says Damian with a smile. ‘But perhaps not as you’d necessarily imagine.’

For Damian to have secured his first ever lead role is one achievement.

But to have done so in what will be not only an island but a British Isles premiere is quite another.

And when you add into the equation that Taylorian Productions’ presentation of Sunset Boulevard is sponsored by Lloyds – ‘well, there’s no pressure then, is there!?’ asks Damian.

‘I had no idea to be honest that I would be offered the lead role.

‘I didn’t even go for that part at first.

‘Then to find out that my employer is principal sponsor, well put it this way, I’ve taken a bit of stick.’

The chance to stage the show came at the personal invitation of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s promotional company.They had seen the Taylorian productions of CATS and Evita over the past two summers and approached them ahead of all other groups in the British Isles.

‘I know a number of people who are coming across to see it as this is such an opportunity.

‘A restricted licence has now been granted to a handful of companies in 2015 and they are travelling to the island to watch the premiere.’

Spectacular, daring and unforgettable are just three of the words used as Lloyd-Webber’s team reinvented the movie as a romantic musical spectacle.

‘It’s really a bit of an unknown gem,’ added Damian.

‘There is something for the family yet they probably don’t realise it.

‘The story is wonderfully entertaining and of course offers two of Lloyd Webber’s best songs in With One Look and As If We Never Said Goodbye. ’

Add in the number one hit single The Perfect Year, the iconic move is being transformed on to the Gaiety stage from August 4-16.

Taylorian is also promising a visually magnificent piece of theatre as the island celebrates its year of culture with a slice of Hollywood culture.

‘It’s worlds apart from the day job, of course it is.

‘But is something we’re all looking forward to,’ added Damian.

‘It is a fantastic story with fabulous music and really is for all the family.

‘Hopefully local people will support the show.

‘They’ve seen Evita and CATS over the past two summers and they certainly won’t be disappointed with this – even if it won’t seem real for me for the next couple of weeks’.

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