Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Article from The Denbigh Visitor

Dreamboats and Petticoats comes to Rhyl
Jul 28 2010 by Ian Hughes, Denbigh Visitor

AS auditions go, there are some that will open up a few more doors than others. TV show I’d Do Anything falls among these.

“It was definitely a very good decision,” says former contestant Francesca Jackson.

Since leaving the show she has spent two years in the employment of musical theatre impresario Bill Kenwright.

“It was the first call I received after I left,” she remembers. “I went for an audition, sat with him at his piano and it went on from there.”

Francesca is now appearing in a UK-wide tour of the hit musical Dreamboats and Petticoats. It shows at Rhyl Pavilion September 13-18.

Being inundated with job offers after a stint on TV is far from out of the ordinary.

She explains: “The musical theatre TV talent shows act as a talent pool. The only ones I know from the show not working in theatre are the ones that decided to go into training.”

The success rate when compared to X-Factor or Pop Idol is unprecedented but, according to Francesca, not that unusual.

“On X-Factor you’re chasing a recording contract, for I’d Do Anything you’re just after the chance to be part of musical theatre.

“It’s not about being a celebrity it’s just about wanting to be part of it.”

She adds: “I had worked in theatre before in Tonight’s the Night and Rent and decided that it’s definitely what I wanted to do. People enter pop TV shows almost on a whim, I suppose.”

Prior to appearing on the show, Francesca already had friends in high places.

It was the winner of 2006’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Connie Fisher, who introduced her to the idea. While appearing in Rent, cast member Denise Van Outen also pointed her in the direction of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV talent academy which according to Francesca is “the biggest and best audition you can possibly do”.

Dreamboats and Petticoats was inspired by the million selling album of the same name.

“The album was used to create a very funny script.

“It’s set in the 50s and follows four kids at a youth club as they enter a singing competition.”

Francesca adds: “There are two new songs and the rest are classics – the storyline is entwined with the music.

“I didn’t realise how many of them I knew but the old numbers definitely get an audience reaction – sometimes they sing louder than we do! I like that because you know they’re enjoying it.”

She jokes: “It’s very lively compared to other stuff I’ve done – it’s been a good way to lose weight!”

Dreamboats and Petticoats is at Rhyl Pavilion September 13-18. Call 01745 330 000 for more information.

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