Chris Barton (actor)
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Chris Barton (born 21 March 1987, Liverpool, England) is an English actor and singer who featured in the BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do, and has subsequently gone on to appear in numerous musical theatre productions in the West End and across the UK.
Barton trained at The Hammond School, Chester, a specialist dance school where he was given a scholarship to attend for five years. It was full-time and he also boarded at the school. He trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary dance, singing and drama. Barton furthered his training at the Liverpool Theatre School, where he graduated in 2007, gaining a National Diploma in Musical Theatre.
Any Dream Will Do
In Barton's third year of college, in 2007, he successfully auditioned for the BBC reality television talent show Any Dream Will Do, where he worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber. The show was hosted by Graham Norton, and was the second West End talent show to be produced by the BBC and Lloyd Webber. Barton was selected from thousands of auditionees and was invited to attend "Joseph School" where after surviving further auditions and elimination rounds, reached the final 12, singing live on television every Saturday night. Judge, Denise Van Outen commented at Barton's early audition, that when Barton performed, the "hairs on her arms stood on end". Judge Zoe Tyler's reaction to his audition was "Wow!".
Barton was the fifth to leave the competition, and was offered the role of Benjamin in Bill Kenwright's touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He also played Joseph at certain performances and narrator. Barton recorded an album with fellow Joseph friends called Dream On, following which they performed a concert at the London Palladium.
Barton went on to play older Benny in Our Benny, a rags to riches musical set in Liverpool. He then took part in his first West End show Spring Awakening, a musical that won eight Tony Awards on Broadway and won 'Best New Musical' in London at the Olivier Awards. Barton, as Swing in Spring Awakening had the opportunity to play most roles within the show during his time in the production, including the lead role of Melchior Gabor. After seven months in Spring Awakening, Barton moved on to a role in the hit West End musical Hairspray, where he played Sketch, before leaving in March 2010.
The Sound of Music
In the summer of 2010, Barton played Rolf in the UK touring production of The Sound of Music starring alongside Connie Fisher who won the BBC Talent show prior to Any Dream Will Do - How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. Barton continued in the 2011 tour of the show alongside Verity Rushworth and Jason Donovan until the summer of that year.
Coronation Street- Street of Dreams After 18 months starring as Rolf in 'The Sound of Music', Barton joined British icon Paul O'Grady in the original cast of "Coronation Street- The Musical" at Manchester's MEN Arena.
Barton is now studying TV and Film acting at Manchester School of Acting with leading acting coach Mark Hudson. Barton has appeared in many television programs since, such as, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and From Here to There (due to air in April 2014). He has also appeared in television commercials for leading brands, such as, Nike, Injury Lawyers For You and Co-operative Food.