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Tonight’s the Night for Rod Stewart fans

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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TONIGHT’S The Night, the smash hit musical comedy inspired by the songs of Rod Stewart is to visit The Regent Theatre later this month.

The all-singing, all-dancing feel-good show premiered in the West End in 2003 and went on to play sold-out theatres across the UK.

With a book by multi award-winning writer and comedian Ben Elton, with Queen’s We Will Rock You, under his belt, Tonight’s The Night features spectacular staging, a world class band, dazzling choreography and includes more than 20 classic Rod Stewart hits like Tonight’s the Night, Hot Legs, Baby Jane, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, Maggie May, This Old Heart of Mine, I Don’t Wanna Talk About It, Ooh La La, Some Guys Have All the Luck, Forever Young, Sailing and many more.

I spoke to Michael McKell, who is reprising his role as Stoner – who describes his character as a gipsy loosely taking on the cheeky chappiness of Michael Caine and the late Dudley Moore. With these characters, you know what to expect.

Set on the mean streets of Detroit and in the glamorous clubs of uptown Los Angeles the show tells the story of Stu, a shy young man, so tongue tied that he cannot find the courage to declare his love to the girl of his dreams. How different he is to his hero, that legendary rock n’ roll vagabond Rod Stewart.

One night our hero strikes a deal with the Devil, trading his soul for Rod’s. It seems like a good idea at the time but he’s is about to find out the hard way that you can’t find true love using another man’s moves and that devil or no devil, there’s only one Rod Stewart.

But what if you didn’t grow up around his music? Is this just for Rod Stewart fans? “That’s the lovely thing, it isn’t,” says McKell, “We were surprised at just how many songs we knew. He’s had a 45 year career. If you are not a fan, you are bound to have sung his songs at some point.”

Michael is best known for appearing in Doctors, in which he played Dr Nick West from 2006 until the character was run over and killed in 2008, and Emmerdale, in which he has played DC Nick Henshall over two separate periods from 2008 to 2011, until the character committed suicide. He has also appeared in EastEnders as the hitman who supposedly killed Paul Trueman.

He was in the original production 11 years ago in which Rod Stewart himself gave his full backing.

“It was a little bit surreal singing to Rod Stewart. He is such a backer of this show.”

But this time around Michael describes the show as a ‘more grungier concept’ to move with the times, with more songs and a new cast.

“We have a fantastic range of musicians and it is great to be in that environment.”

He will be joined by Jade Ewan, who will play the role of Dee Dee.

Jade is best known as a member of girl-band Sugababes and also represented the UK at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest - coming in a respectable fifth place.

Also appearing is Ben Heathcote as the main hero who has a long list of stage productions to his name.

Tonight’s the Night runs from March 24 to 29, and tickets are now on sale and are available in person from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by phoning 0844 871 7649 or by visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke

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