If you’re familiar with West End actor Liam Tamne, there’s a good chance you’re a fan of Les Misérables, or you’ve been watching The Voice UK, where the Les Mis alum stole the show during his blind audition for the judges (or coaches, as they’re known on The Voice). Best known for his run as the revolutionary student Enjolras at Queen’s Theatre as part of the 2011/2012 cast of Les Misérables, Tamne is stepping away from the stage and pursuing his dream of becoming a recording artist.
For his audition, which aired on April 6, Tamne chose to sing Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work” in honor of his late grandmother, and it paid off. It only took will.i.am a few seconds of singing to turn around, and he was followed closely by Danny O’Donaghue. Jessie J was convinced shortly thereafter, and Sir Tom Jones was the last to turn around, doing so during Tamne’s final note. Then came the customary battle between the coaches to recruit Tamne for their team. In the end, he decided to join Team Will.
It’s nice to see Tamne enjoying this initial success, especially as the term “musical theatre” is often bandied about with a negative connotation on shows like The Voice. He’s obviously proud of his background, and maybe this season he’ll prove that coming from musical theatre is a strength rather than a weakness. Perhaps predictably, the musical theatre community (fellow actors and fans alike) have rallied around Tamne, with messages of encouragement and congratulations pouring in through Twitter and Facebook.
As a fan, I was ridiculously proud of him as I watched the crowd (and the coaches) react to his performance. Not that playing Enjolras eight times a week isn’t just as taxing or impressive, but this audition put him in the national spotlight, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Tamne is talented, humble and always gracious to his fans, and on top of that, he’s remarkably personable.
Even if you weren’t impressed by his audition (and it’s difficult to imagine – he was remarkable), his sincere desire to honor his recently passed grandmother tugs at the heartstrings. He’s also been recording video blogs and uploading them to his official YouTube channel, granting fans access to his journey on the show, as well as interacting with fans on Twitter and Facebook.
I haven’t been interested in any singing reality shows in a while, but it appears that this season I’ll be following The Voice UK quite closely from here in America. Here’s to wishing Tamne the very best! And if you’re on the right side of the pond, I encourage you to tune in to what promises to be an exciting season, and when the time comes, support Tamne and Team Will by calling in and voting.