Hostess with the Mostess
Beau LaHunty began life on the stage.
Not literally of course. As mater and pater always said: there’s a fine line between avant-garde and human zoo. But his “vie réelle” began with his first treading of the boards: revolutionising the role of ‘Mary’ in his first school production entitled “The Nativity”. Critics called the performance “christmassy”.
From that very moment, Beau had well and truly caught the theatre bug. Following an illustrious O-Level Drama career spanning nearly a fifth of a decade, Beau was given the opportunity to hone his craft within the esteemed walls of one of southern France’s most prestigious combined performing arts/basket-weaving colleges, the “École Nationale d'Études Matériels Artistiques” or ENEMA, as it is affectionately known amongst the ever-growing southern Mediterranean street theatre scene. His decision to spread his wings and take on British theatre lead to a seemingly endless list of credits, but amongst his most treasured experiences is his unforgettable time as 'understudy' to the stars of the hit contemporary piece, “Who’s for Cypriot Delight?”, throughout its two-week run above the Peacock pub, in the village of Fletching, East Sussex.
One of Beau’s most famous projects involved his debut as visionary creator and lead role of the short-running hit musical “Hats!”- a daring, no holds barred exposé of the seedy underbelly of Victorian London’s dog-eat-dog world of hat-making, set to a score that challenged modern taste by drawing together elements of Medieval chant with Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s score of Cats. Boasting hits such as “Rum Tum Tophat”, “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Caps” and LaHunty original/crowd favourite: “The Largest Head I Ever Did See”, the musical was eventually discontinued after a lengthy and costly legal battle.
After the devastating loss of his show, Beau pulled himself up by his bootstraps before succumbing to a debilitating addiction to prescription glasses that left him financially ruined and “aesthetically uninspiring”. It was time to leave the delicious yet ravaging world of theatre behind and find some solace in education, passing his PGCE qualification within the top 100th percentile of his class.
His past demons behind him, Beau is now Resident Director and Head of Theatre at the Colla Voce Academy, where he desperately lives out his theatrical dreams through his students, whom he describes as “a constantly challenging and hormonally charged drain on one’s faculties”. He now wears contact lenses.
You can read about Beau’s journey in the first installment of his memoirs, entitled “LaHunty becomes LaHunted: The Beau LaHunty Chronicles”, available from any reputable book merchant, specifically his etsy page.
Beau will appearing in CV5: A Theatre Quest on 6th February 2021.