Alfie Boe is a Tony Award-winning tenor and actor known for his performances in the musical Les Misérables and Baz Luhrmann’s revival of La Bohéme. He has sold over 1 million albums in the United Kingdom
I would make music in education compulsory. Music and the arts seem to suffer in schools, with music programmes being dropped—I think it’s a disaster. Music is such a natural thing to all of us. You don’t necessarily need to play an instrument—you can listen to other performers and look at how music is developed. There are many roles in the music industry that involve more than just standing on stage and singing or playing an instrument. There’s engineering, producing, writing, and composition… Everybody has the capability to do this, so for a politician to say that it’s just an elitist art form and only certain people can do it is rubbish.
I’d introduce a fine for people who don’t recycle. It shouldn’t go unnoticed. It affects people’s lives and it should come with a cost. I’ve just moved back from America and over there they just throw everything into one big bin of things to be recycled—you never actually know what’s being recycled or being separated out. When I came over here it surprised me how everything has its compartments and the collection only happens every two weeks. It’s frustrating but it makes you think about recycling and your impact on the environment.
I’d have something new on television. Reality TV is a very 1990s thing and it has had its day. There are far too many shows like Big Brother or Love Island. They’re interesting to certain audiences but I think there’s better entertainment out there. Looking back on the history of television, we had great variety shows every week. You never get a magic show on TV anymore. We need to get back to using the television for what it really was for—entertainment and giving fun, laughter and joy, rather than being concerned whether somebody on Love Island is in love with someone.
I’d turn back time and restrict social media. It’s beneficial for the entertainment industry. Social media seems to be the way forward for selling yourself, putting your music out there. But I don’t believe it has done any good for the world—it has gone to the extreme where it’s ruined people’s lives as far as politicians, elections and people’s personal lives go. It’s not a great medium.
Nobody really goes out and meets people in cafés, bars or events anymore. Now you can have six dates in one night—you just download an app. It’s bizarre.
I’d increase high street shopping. I don’t think online shopping makes life easier—I think it makes life lazier. It’s nice to go out to a shop to buy your shoes from an old-fashioned shoe shop where you can smell the polish and the leather and have the whole experience of sitting down and putting on a really nice pair of shoes and feeling proud about it.
I’d control how much we consume. The amount of forest that gets cut down for our use is shocking. Recycling is one thing but control of how much we consume is another important concern. We try not to have too much food waste because we have a food waste collection; our bags of waste are so small. I think it’s important to only buy the food that you will consume. That will alleviate the demand and the destruction of these forests.
Alfie Boe is touring the UK between March 17–April 29. For tickets, visit alfie-boe.com