TV talent show finalist Gareth Gates is set to present an evening of songs from the shows at the Playhouse Whitley Bay next month.
The 31-year-old established himself in the musical theatre industry by taking the title role in a production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 2009.
And this autumn, Gates, runner-up to Will Young in the 2001 series of ITV’s Pop Idol, will sing stage-show favourites in a production directed by Michael Courtney called Mad About the Musicals.
The show was launched by Courtney 10 years ago and is back for an anniversary tour.
It will include numbers penned by the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lord Lloyd Webber.
Gates, born in Bradford in West Yorkshire, is looking forward to being back up north.
“I can’t wait to do the venues up north because it’s where I’m from, and the audiences are always warm,” he said.
“I spent quite a bit of time up here for various gigs and shows. We’re on tour for about five weeks, and we’re taking the same show around the UK.”
Gates played the leading role of Marius in a production of Les Miserables on tour and in London’s West End from 2009 to 2011 and is looking forward to singing songs from the 1980 musical, inspired by the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, again.
“Performing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is always great for me, always a favourite, and we’re performing other songs like As Long As You’re Mine from Wicked.
“Les Miserables is a classic piece, and it’s the worlds longest-running musical, so to be part of that show, for those reasons, is incredible.
“I think Mad About the Musicals is a great evening out, and the diversity of the music means it’s great for all ages.”
Gates also starred in the 2009 James Bourne and Elliot Davis musical Loserville in 2012, and he said he “got out very different things” from that performance.
“Doing something like Loserville is satisfying and completely different,” he said.
“I got to create a part, and I loved that change. With Les Miserables, you have to do the same as what everyone has been doing for the past 25 years, whereas with Loserville, I could make the role exactly want I wanted.”
Mad About the Musicals will also feature a variety of songs from the 1989 Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil show Miss Saigon, Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and the Queen musical We Will Rock You.
The show is on at the North Tyneside venue on Wednesday, October 7, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £18 to £22. For details, go to www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk or ring 0844 248 1588.