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Aaron Michael Sidwell[1] (born 12 September 1988)[2] is an English actor and singer. He is best known for playing troubled Steven Beale in the British soap opera EastEnders, originating the role of Michael Dork in Loserville in the West End and fronting his own pop group, The Boston Plan. He was also the first British actor to play Johnny in Green Day's American Idiot musical. Sidwell is a method actor, known for using the Stanislavski technique.[3]

Aaron Sidwell
Aaron Sidwell 2016.jpg
Sidwell in 2016
Aaron Michael Sidwell

(1988-09-12) 12 September 1988 (age 30)
Maidstone, Kent, England
OccupationActor, singer
Years active2007–present


Sidwell was born in 1988 in Maidstone, Kent[1] and grew up in the village of Kingswood, Kent. He was given a drama scholarship when he was eleven years old at Bethany School.[4] He started his acting career on stage and was a member of All Saints Choir. He worked for several years on the stage. Shortly after leaving, his big break came when he was cast as Steven Beale in BBC's long-running serial drama, EastEnders; he took over the role from Edward Savage, who last appeared in 2002. Sidwell left the role in 2008. He then worked on a feature film called Blood Army, playing the role of Lewis. Blood Army is a vampire film about the beginning and end of time.

Throughout his time acting, Sidwell fronted his own band, The Boston Plan. The band enjoyed small success, selling out small London headline shows, playing live on BBC's Children in Need and opening up for Professor Green and Tinchy Stryder.

At the end of April 2010, Sidwell started working on an Internet show called Almost, but not quite, playing the part of Josh Newell. In August 2011, he starred in a new musical called The Prodigals alongside X Factor's Lucie Jones, which made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2012, Sidwell made his West End debut in Children of Eden at the Prince of Wales theatre, starring alongside Gareth Gates and Kerry Ellis. Sidwell took the part of Ham in Stephen Schwartz's musical. In June 2012, Sidwell headed up the cast of the brand new production Loserville: The Musical, playing Michael Dork at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, alongside Gates, Lil' Chris and Eliza Bennett. Loserville was then transferred to the West End's Garrick Theatre from October. Loserville: The Musical closed in January 2013. Sidwell received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Michael Dork, and the show was viewed as a cult hit. Sidwell posted on his Twitter account about the show saying, "This show has changed my life in more ways than you will ever know. I am proud to say that I was part of something special."[5]

In 2013, Sidwell replaced Sid Owen in the new show Carnaby Street: The Musical, playing Jack, a young band manager who narrates the piece. The show opened at The Hackney Empire in April. He remained with the production throughout 2013. In 2014, he played Michael Carrington in a West End Concert version of the cult hit movie Grease 2, called Cool Rider: Live, staged at the Lyric Theatre from January 2014. The show was moved to the Duchess Theatre in April 2014, where it received rave reviews. Sidwell appears on the Original Studio Cast recording of the show. Following Cool Rider: Live, Sidwell played the role of Tybalt in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, from 27 June onwards. The show toured open air venues around the UK. Shortly after finishing Romeo and Juliet, Sidwell played Carl Bruner in Ghost: The Musical at the English Theatre Frankfurt, making him the first person to do so in Germany. The show ran for 6 months. He described the role as "a dream come true".

Sidwell later became the first British performer to play the role of Johnny in Green Day's American Idiot, playing opposite Amelia Lily. Owing to the character's heroin storyline, Sidwell transformed himself physically for the role, losing close to 8 kg over five weeks, dropping to 58 kg. Speaking in an interview Sidwell said that he fasted for seven days and then restricted himself to not eating beyond 1pm during those five weeks, taking in only 600 calories a day. He also shaved his head to give himself a mohawk. The show opened to rave reviews. Sidwell's performance was described as "devastatingly good" and The Evening Standard said he "causes sparks to fly". What's on Stage said, "He commands the stage". Speaking about the role, Sidwell described it as "emotionally challenging" and said it had "strained his personal life and relationships" but that he did not regret the lengths he took for the role. Although American Idiot was announced to be touring the UK in early 2016, Sidwell opted out of rejoining the show. Sidwell then joined the cast of Grey Gardens playing opposite Jenna Russell and Sheila Hancock. The show was phenomenally received and subsequently the whole run sold out just two days after opening at the Southwark Playhouse. Sidwell left the show in February 2016.

Sidwell then returned to EastEnders in 2016, after an eight-year break from the show. The Sun reported in August 2017 that Sidwell would be leaving EastEnders permanently, and Steven was killed off on 8 September 2017. His decision to quit the show was owing to him accepting the role of Fiyero in the UK and Ireland Tour of Wicked. Speaking about it on the Lorraine show Aaron said "when an opportunity like that comes up you have to take it."


  1. ^ a b "Birth, marriage, death & parish records". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Aaron Sidwell @ Jabberwocky Agency". Jabberwocky Agency. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  3. ^ "Steven Beale walks back into Walford". Digital Spy. 24 September 2007. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Who's Who in EastEnders". What's On TV.
  5. ^ "West Yorkshire Playhouse: Loserville musical cast revealed". Retrieved 15 May 2013.

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