North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
12:00 AM 20th March 2024

Q&A With Luke Baker

Luke Baker playing Zack Mayo 
Photo:  ©Marc Brenner
Luke Baker playing Zack Mayo Photo: ©Marc Brenner
Yorkshire-born actor Luke Baker is currently on tour in the musical An Officer and a Gentleman, based on the award-winning 1980s film. The story of love, courage, and redemption is set against a soundtrack featuring the songs of Madonna, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, and many more. 

Ahead of the musical, which is visiting the north, Luke chats about his role.

How are you today?

I am enjoying a restful day so far, catching up with my family, but looking forward to being back on stage tonight.

For those who have not seen An Officer and Gentlemen, can you tell us what the musical is about?

I play Zak Mayo, a character who joins a naval officer candidate programme to become a jet pilot, though what transpires is that Zak is not all that he might seem to be.

He meets a girl, Paula; things begin to get complicated, and the storyline becomes quite traumatic. The audience will discover a story of hardship and overcoming adversity. People familiar with the film version will be pleased to know we have kept a lot of the original iconic imagery in this new stage production.

Was it a challenge playing Zak?

It was really challenging at first. People will see that my character is on stage for most of the show practically in every scene. I am really enjoying the challenge. The role of Zak is a gift to play; he is a complex character with so many emotions I have to portray.

There are some good eighties songs in the musical; do you have a favourite one to perform?

We start with Status Quo's, In The Army Now, though the lyrics have been adapted to fit the theme so we sing In The Navy Now. My favourite song I get to perform is Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory, a really powerful song that, along with the rest of the tracks we perform, carries the audience through the story.

You recently became a dad ...

Yes, being a father is a magical experience. My daughter is one year old now. We recently bought her her first pair of shoes, and watching her toddle around in them gives me great joy.

As I miss my new family when on tour, I try not to be away for more than two weeks so I can get to spend more time with them.

The cast.
Photo:  ©Marc Brenner
The cast. Photo: ©Marc Brenner
What would you say to encourage people to book tickets for the show?

For those new to An Officer and Gentlemen, expect a show with a lot of heart, a great story, and a talented cast; so far, there has not been a performance without a standing ovation at the end.

For those familiar with the film it will be a nostalgic night.

People seem to enjoy the show because it takes them on a journey that is not only entertaining but also thrilling, through the highs and lows of an extraordinary love story.

I am thrilled and proud to be performing in the musical.

An Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical
25th–30th March: Bradford Alhambra Theatre
30th April-4th May: Manchester Opera House
13th–18th May: Newcastle Theatre Royal
4th–8th June: York Grand Opera House
17th–22nd June: Sheffield Lyceum
22nd–27th July: Liverpool Empire
1st–5th October: Blackpool Opera House
4th–9th November: Hull New Theatre
12th-16th November: Carlisle Sands Centre