STEPHEN MANGAN (a.k.a. Norman, the lascivious librarian) Life Before Norman: A TV star in England thanks to recurring roles in two hit BBC series, Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years and Green Wing, this London native won’t be endorsing hair-loss products anytime soon. “Mangan is Gaelic for hairy, or the luxurious growth of hair,” he jokes. Onstage Scoop: The beard and shaggy ’do were cultivated for his newest role. “Norman’s a walking erection,” Mangan quips. “The only thing that interests him is connecting with women. So he spends the play trying to seduce his wife, his wife’s sister and his sister-in-law.” All that, and he’s rather loveable, too. “He’s very smart, very sensitive to people’s moods and what they need. And he’s good to be in a room with, even if you disapprove of him. He just comes in with this incredible exuberance and energy and anarchy.” Backstage Skinny: If Mangan calls Norman “the play’s bomb,” the actor himself prefers a more contained atmosphere offstage, particularly when it comes to lighting. At the Old Vic, the actor even brought in his own lamps to give his dressing room a mellow, den-like ambience. “I can’t live with bad lighting,” he says. “It upsets me physically.”
Steve's reaction to his Tony nomination is really sweet!
"I successfully managed to go to sleep and sleep right through the announcements, until I was woken up by a text from a friend that said, ‘Bad luck: You missed out on Best Leading Actress in a Musical.’ Then more texts and calls and emails started flooding in. I talked to my wife in London. She’s very, very excited. She’ll be coming over for the awards, which are televised, unlike the Oliviers in England, so we’ll need to get some of our best clobber on. I would say I’d have a good shave, but I’m not allowed to. I’m really pleased for Alan Ayckbourn because you don’t get that many nominations for a badly written play. It’s just a testament to the enduring greatness of his trilogy that it’s generated that much interest 35 years after it was written. And Matthew [Warchus, our director] seems to be dominating. I did a quick count and he’s got ten actors working on Broadway, and eight of us have nominations. The Tonys have always been reported in the U.K. as a big deal, but what surprised me was how much interest there was about them in Manhattan itself. I was out walking about yesterday and got stopped three or four times by people wishing me ‘good luck’ for tomorrow. That’s just amazing. That would never happen in London, even though London is a big theater town. Admittedly, I’m incredibly recognizable, thanks to all of the hair that I’m wearing at the moment. And I must say, it makes me laugh to see my two friends [fellow nominees and castmates Amanda Root and Jessica Hynes] compete with Angela Lansbury for an award. That’s great fun!"