Friday, 17 January 2014

BWW Interviews: Jade Ewen of TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!

BWW Interviews: Jade Ewen Of TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!

BWW Interviews: Jade Ewen Of TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!
It's a busy time when a show's well into rehearsals, ready to open in a matter of days, and then there's last-minute script tweaks. Jade Ewen, playing Dee-Dee in the forthcoming UK tour of Tonight's The Night, is calm.
Her pop career may be more high profile, but she's a seasoned veteran of musical theatre, after attending the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School as a child, when she starred in shows including Whistle Down The Wind, The Lion King and Annie.
"That was when I knew I wanted to be a performer, that was when I knew it was what I was going to do for the rest of my life," she says.
After leaving school, she pursued a singing career, becoming one-third of the Sugababes as well as the UK's Eurovision entry in 2009.
"There was still a part of me that thought, 'I want to be doing a show'!" she admits. "It was just finding time to do it - there never was the right time. But now I'm at a point where we're encouraged to do our individual projects, so when I saw the audition for Tonight's The Night, I just thought, 'I'm going to go for it.'
"To be honest, I didn't think I'd get it, because I hadn't done anything since I was about 12, so I was just popping along for the experience and hoping that someone might keep me in mind for future projects. I was really nicely surprised when I was offered it!"
She says that slotting back into the musical theatre routine has been quite easy - but a lengthy UK tour of this nature will inevitably be gruelling. Yet she's looking forward to that challenge.
"My whole career has been me being thrown in at the deep end, sink or swim - I'm used to it now, I just go with it," she says. "I think that's probably better, get the experience of it and learn from it."
She confesses she's not had to tweak her singing technique too much, having spent much of her pop career being told to tone down her power.
"It's harder doing pop recording. I've always had a big voice and a tendency to project. In a small studio booth, they're always whacking on the compressors because it's too loud for the microphone!" she says. "On stage now, I'm allowed to sing naturally, which is really nice."
Catch Jade as Dee-Dee in Tonight's The Night on the forthcoming UK tour, which opens at the Manchester Palace on Monday.

Photos:Heidi and Ben Freeman at the 'Happy Days the Musical Press Night at the Churchill Theatre

Heidi Range and Ben Freeman - Celebrities at the 'Happy Days the Musical Press Night at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley - Bromley - Wednesday 15th January 2014

Are MKS the original Sugababes heading for another split after Mutya Keisha Siobhan email row?

Are MKS the original

Sugababes heading 

for another split after 

Mutya Keisha Siobhan

email row?

Speculation of strife in Suga-land mounted earlier this week when Keisha Buchanan sent a highly public tweet to Mutya casting doubts on the trio's future

MKS: is everything still sugary sweet with the band?
MKS: is everything still sugary sweet with the band?

Oh dear, could history be repeating itself with the original Sugababes?
After becoming more known for their backbiting and revolving door policy on membership, the original trio - expunged from the official line-up - decided to reform and it was all supposed to be different this time around.
The original three - the imaginatively-titled Mutya Keisha Siobhan - got back together, released a single and went on a sold-out tour across the UK but it seems that all is not well in the land of Suga.
With their debut single Flatline er - flatlining in the charts, managing to peak at just number 50 - rumours had been swirling that the band's much-anticipated comeback was a dud and that they were due to be dropped by their record label.
View image on Twitter
That was swiftly denied but now new speculation of trouble has swept social networks following a suspect tweet that Keisha Buchanan sent to bandmate Mutya Buena.
"@MutyaBuena Hello???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clearly I have to start tweeting you," the Round Round singer wrote in a highly public fashion.
Then on one of Mutya's Instagram photos, bandmate Keisha wrote: "EMAILS!!!!!!!!!! Work???????????????? @mutyabuena hello ????"
Meanwhile third member Siobhan is enjoying a lovely holiday, apparently blissfully unaware of all the drama.

Guys chill lol all is wonderful with me & my sisters not that deep

Nothing's goin on dnt worry no red Alerts everyone's on holiday at the moment ..... I'm chillin with family fones on silent 😁👊
Hmmm. What could this mean? Could the band that splits up more than a reality show fauxmance be in trouble?
Well - don't panic because it seems not. Keisha later deleted her tweet and comments to Real Girl singer Mutya and wrote: "Guys chill lol all is wonderful with me & my sisters woohsahhhh not that deep".
Mutya added her own explanation, writing: "Nothing's goin on dnt worry no red Alerts everyone's on holiday at the moment ..... I'm chillin with family fones on silent"
The group's publicist also denied there was an issue, saying in a statement to 3am online: "There’s nothing going on here. The band will be releasing their second single and their album later this year."
Fingers crossed!

Review: Happy Days - A New Musical at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Review: Happy Days - A New Musical at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

News Shopper: Picture by Paul ColtasPicture by Paul Coltas

News Shopper: Picture by Paul Coltas

GOODBYE grey skies, hello blue – Happy Days has been brightening people’s days since 1974.
And rather than bleeding that goodwill dry, A New Musical feeds it with a show that’s as fulfilling as one of Arnold’s thick shakes.
The feel- good show - written by the show’s creator Garry Marshall with original music by Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winner Paul Williams – debuted at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley this week ahead of a full UK tour.
I’m struggling to find a way to describe exactly how this latest incarnation made me feel.
My mind keeps going back to the food fight scene in the film Hook when Robin Williams reconnects with his childhood and, with the broadest grin imaginable, finally sees the joy of the colourful feast; it is a gleeful release.
The show always tapped into innocent, all-American nostalgia, but live and with the bombast of an uplifting score it is even more vivid.
Reborn as a stage show for the second time, the iconic cast of loveable characters has been reincarnated and there are even a couple of lesser known characters who you’ll love.
The phrase ‘very much in the spirit of the original’ is all too often a euphemism for ‘very much a pale imitation of the original’ but, I’m pleased to say that’s not the case here.

There are little romances for Fonzie, Chachi, Richie and the female characters’ struggle to break the chains of a patriarchal society (albeit in a cutesy 1950s way).
Often revivals of popular shows with well-loved characters - whether on the stage or the big screen – can get lazy in terms of narrative and while a scheme to save Arnold’s diner from closure is not groundbreaking, there is sufficient nuance to keep the story rollicking along.
The dialogue is sharp and director Andrew Wright keeps the play bursting with life.
Of course, at the top of the list of loveable characters, of course, is The Fonz. If ever there was a potential banana skin for an actor, then this is it.
It is a shame that the production team didn’t link up with the Beeb for a show – How do you solve a problem like Fonzarelli? would surely be a ratings winner.
I’ll admit I was concerned for Emmerdale’s Ben Freeman, who had to step into the hallowed leather jacket.
So ingrained is The Fonz in popular culture that it is possible to imagine even Henry Winkler in his prime would be able to live up to expectations, and his appearance – which basically consisted of a cartoonish swagger and an ‘eyyyy’ – contained little to give me confidence.
But it didn’t take him long to win me over. His swagger, attitude and delivery were spot on. Great voice too – he nailed it.
One of the lesser known characters who takes a leading role here, is Pinky Tuscadero, played by lovely Sugababe Heidi Range.
It sounds churlish saying this about woman who has made a living from her voice for more than a decade, but Heidi can really belt out a tune. She was sufficiently starry to work as the Fonz’s love interest too.
While we’re talking about the cast – a big mention to Cheryl Baker. She is marvellous at Mrs Cunningham and provides some of the show’s most memorable moments, most of them laugh out loud funny.
When the Fonz jumped the shark nearly 40 years ago, the moment became a signpost that a show is in decline but from what I saw yesterday there’s plenty of life left in the old dog.
Happy Days is at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, until January 18 and The Orchard Theatre, Dartford from May 19 to 24. Go or