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Preview: Shout! The Musical at Sunderland Empire
SHOUT! THE MUSICAL
SONIA(Chart-topper and ’80s icon), NIKI EVANS(X-Factor and West Endstar)
and HELENA BLACKMAN(‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ and West End star)
Shout! The Musical
Tuesday 23rd - Saturday 27th May 2017 CANCELLED
Shout it from the rooftops! The blockbusting Swinging Sixties sensation is back on the road for the first time in over a decade with a date at Sunderland Empire from 23-27 May 2017, starring Sonia (Chart-topper and ’80s icon), Niki Evans (X-Factor and West End star) and Helena Blackman (‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ and West End star).
Shout! The Musical features a host of popular songs from the fabulous and freewheeling decade of the Swinging Sixties such as ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’’, ‘Downtown’, ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’ to name but a few, as well as that trio of lovable numbers ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ and ‘Goldfinger’ not forgetting, of course, the big hit number that takes the show’s name, ‘SHOUT!’
The well-loved scenario surrounds the lives of five women in their ’20s, ’30s and ’40s who all face tough situations, usually involving love, friendship and relationships. They all write to Gwendolyn Holmes, an agony aunt working on the magazine Shout! for help and advice. Each girl is trying to find true happiness.
One of the girls travels from America to Britain (to seek out Paul McCartney!), another is starting to suspect her husband is cheating on her. The gorgeous and wealthy girl in the pack has to face up to some pertinent questions regarding her sexuality whilst the feisty girl among them is on a journey of lust and good-looking men. Finally, the youngest girl, feeling hopeless and unwanted, comes alive when the man of her dreams enters her life.
Five girls - each with their own story - told to a background of classic hit ’60s songs which made household names of the likes of Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield not forgetting Lulu’s 1964 hit, Shout! which spent 13 weeks riding high the charts.
Cast in the pivotal role of Green Girl is Sonia who was destined for a career in show-business as shortly after leaving school she made appearances in the popular sitcom ‘Bread’ as well as the equally-popular soap opera, ‘Brookside’. And at just 16 years of age she was spotted by record producer PeteWaterman which eventually led to a recording contract with Simon Cowell.
The release of her début single, ‘You’ll Never Stop Me from Loving You’, released in 1989, shot to No. 1 in the UK charts selling a staggering 350,000 copies while her début album, ‘Everybody Knows’, sold half a million copies and included a string of top singles such as ‘Can’t Forget You’, ‘Listen To Your Heart’ and ‘Counting Every Minute’.
Her versatile voice and genuine love of performing prompted the BBC to select her to be the UKrepresentative for the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest. Coming second to the Irish entry, her single ‘Better The Devil You Know’ hit the UK charts at No. 9 and her album of the same name entered the album charts at No. 20.
And when Sonia entered the world of theatre she received excellent reviews performing alongside Dennis Waterman in ‘A Slice of Saturday Night’ in the West End. And on meeting the producers of ‘Grease’, she was signed on the spot for the lead-role of ‘Sandy’, sharing the stage with Craig McLachlan and Shane Richie.
In 1996, Sonia successfully appeared in Blackpool in ‘The Lily Savage Show’ which led to her playing Bunty, the daughter of Lily Savage, in BBC’s ‘Lily Savage Show’ while in 2007, she starred as Molly to rave reviews in ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.
The role of Orange Girl falls to Niki Evans who made the X-Factor semi-finals in 2007 capturing the hearts of the nation and a legion of fans along the way as well as being highly praised by Simon Cowell.
Niki, in fact, made her musical theatre début as the leading lady in ‘Blood Brothers’ in the West End and her portrayal of Mrs Johnstone was loudly applauded by critics and audiences alike. Niki has also toured the UK as a solo artist with such pop stars as Lonnie Gordon, Big Fun, Yell and, indeed, Sonia.
Playing the role of Blue Girl is Helena Blackman who forged a very successful career in musical theatre. A host of top roles has come her way such as Maria von Trapp and Elsa Schraeder in ‘The Sound of Music’, Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ and Nellie Forbush in ‘South Pacific’.
Helena has also made numerous appearances on television and radio for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC while she has sung on a host of albums for artists, composers, soundtracks and commercials.
A finalist in the ‘Voice of Musical Theatre’ (BBC TV), Helena completed her début album ‘The Sound of Rodgers & Hammerstein’ in 2011. She was also runner-up on BBC1’s ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’.
The role of Yellow Girl falls to Amanda Coutts who began dancing at the tender age of five when she attended The Finch Stage School in her home town of Chadwell Heath, Essex. Eventually, she went on to complete a two-year National Diploma in Performing Arts at BarkingCollege. She was well on her way in the musical-theatre business.
And her theatre credits are amazing and include Meat in ‘We Will Rock You’ (Dominion Theatre, London); Pearl in ‘Starlight Express’ (UK tour) as well as Scaramouche in the UK tour of ‘We Will Rock You’; Pearl and Dinah in ‘Starlight Express’ (Bochum, Germany); Footloose (UK tour), covering and playing the roles of Rusty and Urleen; ‘Fame’ (Cambridge and Aldwych Theatres, London), covering and playing the roles of Carman Diaz, Serena Katz and Lambchops and the role of Minnie and understudy for Anybodys in the UK tour of ‘West Side Story’.
SHOUT! The Musical - by Phillip George and David Lowenstein - is presented by PeterFrosdick, Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark for Shout Tour 2017 Ltd.