FANS of Gary Barlow and Take That are in for a treat next week when producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers along with the 80’s heartthrobs themselves - Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams - tour Tim Firth’s new musical, The Band to The Playhouse.
The Band, which features the songs of Take That, opened at Manchester Opera House last September to great critical and public acclaim and advance box office takings for the tour of a record-breaking £10 million. It recalls what it’s like to grow up with a boyband as your heroes.
For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.
25 years on, the group of friends are reunited, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.
It’s a story Barlow and the boys relate to from the other side, he recalled, “We have always been ambitious though, when we first started, the five of us, all 20-ish, just wanting to take the world on.”
Owen has also gone on the record saying, “To think that after all this time that now the songs are part of a show, it’s beautiful.
“I think of shows and you’ve got Phantom Of The Opera and all these massive wonderful shows, and to think we are doing one of them is bizarre but it’s incredible.”
Donald added, “The fact that this musical is on and we are still going to have a greatest hits at the end of this year, it would be quite easy to release a greatest hits and not really care about it.”
Featuring the music of Take That and the songs that provided the soundtrack for the lives of a generation of teenagers, The Band includes well loved favourites such as Never Forget, Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire and Shine & Rule the World.
The musical stars Rachel Lumberg as Rachel, Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Emily Joyce as Heather, Jayne McKenna as Zoe and features AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, collectively known as Five To Five, as ‘The Band’.
Five to Five won their part in the musical through the BBC talent search Let It Shine.
The cast is completed by Faye Christall as Young Rachel, Katy Clayton as Young Heather, Rachelle Diedericks as Debbie, Sarah Kate Howarth as Young Claire, Lauren Jacobs as Young Zoe, Martin Miller as Jeff and Andy Williams as Dave.
The Band, The Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday19 July-Saturday 14 July, various times, £23.40-£79.40, 0844-871 3014