“It’s so empowering playing a character like Graham” | Adam Rhys-Davies on returning to The Graham Show post-lockdown at Southwark Playhouse

Tell us about your character, Graham de la Cruz.

Graham de la Cruz is a self-titled international cabaret superstar. The only problem is that the world hasn’t realised yet. He’s still waiting for his big break and to make it in the mainstream world of showbiz. Although, he thinks he already has.

What inspired your sassy, glamorous character?

I developed the character of Graham alongside my dear friends when we ran a very successful interactive and immersive comedy night called Club Sol Party. Graham was the holiday rep in charge of “fun” and I decided he had enough stories to tell that he needed his own show.

It was an absolute blast performing with my mates in Edinburgh, Brighton and Latitude. It’s so empowering playing a character like Graham who has so much sass and confidence. He definitely is inspired by the big divas like Cher and Celine Dion. 

You’ve performed The Graham Show: Extra Graham before. Has it changed much in the year since you were last lined up to perform?

Well I originally performed the original version of The Graham Show at VAULT festival in 2019 and then was all set to return for the The Graham Show: Extra Graham in 2020 before COVID hit! We were in the last week of the festival which was cancelled after we had to go into lockdown. Extra Graham has new songs and a lot of new sass moments! 

How are you feeling about going back on stage after such a long break from performing?

I am so excited!!! It’s been a tough year for all of us but particularly in the arts. We really have been left at the bottom of the pile but I am constantly proud and in awe of the tenacity and resilience of everyone who works in live performance. I cannot wait to be back in a theatre with a live audience and to just celebrate all that is wonderful about theatre!

How are you feeling in the run up to your show at the Southwark Playhouse?

A mixture of excitement, nerves and a bit more excitement. I am so lucky that I have an incredible team alongside me including my fellow cast members Nic Lamont, Joe Cullen, Tom Moores and Dan Davis. And also my wonderful producer Ellie Wood. I couldn’t do it without them. After waiting so long to do the show again I cannot wait to be back on stage with them!

You are performing as part of SWK Fest. Are there any other shows at SWK Fest that you’d particularly recommend? 

Any one of the shows programmed will be worth catching. Also, it’s amazing that all of these companies and shows have moved forward and are performing during such a tricky time for theatre and the arts.

Southwark are incredible and have given so many of us a lifeline as well as being supportive and embracing the fact that there are shows out there that need to be seen. I am excited to be playing at such a well respected venue.

What do you hope people take away from your show?

The main thing I want audiences to take away from the show is a sense of fun.

The Graham Show really is a chance to let your hair down, laugh and party. I feel like after the last 18 months we’ve all experienced, we all need to have a fun and liberating night out and to just celebrate what is good in the world. I want everyone to embrace their inner divas and to grab a socially distanced drink and let loose.

What are your hopes for the show and for Graham going forward?

I have many exciting plans for Graham and one day I’d love to see him have his own fly-on-the-wall show as well as hitting the cabaret circuit big time! He’s ready and raring to be unleashed into the general public, but are they ready for him???

The Graham Show: Extra Graham is at Southwark Playhouse on Friday 16th July 2021.

Book your ticket here.

Read our interview about the original Vault Festival show here.

You can keep up with Graham by following him on Facebook and Twitter.