Jos Vantyler can currently be found treading the boards at the newly re-opened Arcola Theatre in The North Wall’s inaugral production, Dead On Her Feet.
He stars as Mel Carney, an unscrupulous promoter who exploits the dreams of six young, hopeful contestants in a marathon dance contest during the 1930s Great Depression in the United States. Seducing them with empty promises of fame and fortune to dance for days on end for the morbid entertainment of a paying audience, Mel Carney’s self-styled image as a showman bringing “joy” to the desperate lives of the disillusioned is undercut by the audience’s realisation that the contest has been fixed to ensure that Mel is the only winner.
Jos Vantyler’s portrayal of the Mephistophelian promoter has won plaudits from critics across the board:
“Jos Vantyler is a tour-de-force as the promoter Mel Carney, swinging from menace to bonhomie and back.”
“The performances in Barry Kyle’s production are consistently, almost overwhelmingly, strong. Jos Vantyler appals as Mel Carneyâ€¦veering precipitously from threatening bully to wheedling charmer with extraordinary acuity.” Whatsonstage.com – 4 STARS
“Jos Vantyler gives a stunning performanceâ€¦ charismatically watchable.”
British Theatre Guide
“MC Mel Carney proves to be the real attraction here, played to perfection by the mesmerising Jos Vantyler… as grotesque and gorgeous a spectacle as the whole show put together.”
A Younger Theatre
The buzz surrounding Vantyler’s stellar performance has now led to a nomination for Best Male Performance from the Off West End Awards.
ThroughoutÂ Dead On Her Feet Jos gives a relentlessly energetic performance, in the final scene furiously tap dancing into the future, seemingly oblivious to the devastation surrounding him. It will come as no surprise to learn that his Great Aunt was golden-age Hollywood star Ann Miller, who in the 1940s and 50s was regarded as one of the greatest tap dancers in the world, performing alongside Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, and is best-remembered for her star turns in Easter Parade, On The Town and Kiss Me, Kate. Inspired by Ann’s distinctive style(“Very fast and showy!”), Jos introduced the idea of tap-dancing into the rehearsal room: “It suited the old Hollywood show man style of Mel Carney – and kind of grew from there…”
Jos is no stranger to accolades, having been nominated for Off West End Best Male Performance award for the role of Tom Sawyer in James Graham’s Huck, and taking home the NYC Star Best Newcomer Award for his portrayal of Rodolfo in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge at The Tower Theater in New York in 2005. Though aged just 27, Jos has already played a diverse number of roles: “I am really fortunate – no one part has ever been the same. I have gone from the American classics to the most famous British farce to Jacobean Tragedy to Tennessee Williams to Shakespeare and back again, playing everything from a 13 year old boy to a 40 year old drunk. I think that’s the best bit – all so different and people have always seen me in very different lights- which always continues to excite!” Make no mistake, Jos Vantyler’s talent is a force to be reckoned with.