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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 04:12 GMT 05:12 UK
McGregor in stage musical debut
Jenna Russell and Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls
McGregor stars alongside Jenna Russell in the new production
Actor Ewan McGregor has made his debut in the West End show Guys and Dolls - his first stage musical.

The 34-year-old Trainspotting and Star Wars actor plays gambler Sky Masterson in the revival of the 1950s musical at London's Piccadilly Theatre.

After the opening night, McGregor said: "The first night can sometimes be a bit uptight but tonight was fantastic."

The audience included Star Wars co-star Natalie Portman, Barbara Windsor, Joan Collins and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Ally McBeal actress Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell co-star in the show.

McGregor, returning to theatre after a six-year absence since appearing in Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs, performs famous numbers including Luck Be A Lady.

"It's a lovely show for us to perform. It's so well-written and so well-paced," he said.

"I've been singing these songs for a long time now so they've got bedded into my voice."

Weight loss

The Scot previously sang and danced alongside Nicole Kidman in the film Moulin Rouge and in glam rock movie Velvet Goldmine.

But he still felt the need to take singing lessons for his latest role and said he lost almost 28lb (13 kg) rehearsing the musical's demanding dance routines.

McGregor said he was offered the part "out of the blue" by director Michael Grandage after returning from his 20,000-mile round-the-world motorcycle trip last year.

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge
McGregor previously sang with Nicole Kidman in the movie Moulin Rouge
"I had never imagined doing a musical on stage. It had never really crossed my mind, but I am so glad that it has come up because I have never had a better time - it's fantastic," he said.

McGregor said performing in a musical was "entirely different" from starring in a movie.

"The actual process of making films is extraordinarily tedious," he said. "It is very difficult to keep your energy and focus. Whereas in this, what is wonderful about this is we have to create it together."

He said he would not compare his Guys and Dolls performance to that of Marlon Brando, who starred in the big-screen version of the musical.

"I can assure you that I don't start thinking: 'That's a bit like Brando, I mustn't do that.' You just try to find the character and see how it fits in your shoes."

Watch clips of Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls

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