Can you tell me what the Twist is all about?
The Twist is a rock ‘n’ roll inspired show that portrays seven of the hottest stars from the 1950s and 1960s: Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Dusty Springfield, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Petula Clark and Eddie Cochrane.
The whole show is a non-stop party with a twist because at the same time it also tells a story. It’s set in a 1950s American diner run by Tony Tremendo and it’s the place that all the stars go to after their day’s work to chill out. Eventually, a corny DJ named Danny Dellany says he wants to do a live broadcast from the diner on Real Time Radio with all the stars in it.
Act Two of the show really is brilliant because that’s just what happens and the waitresses at the diner The Twistettes hope for their big break! The whole thing is incredible and what we like to call a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy!
What can the audience expect when they come to see the show?
They can expect a really energetic show, we have fantastic singers and an incredible live band, the whole thing is just amazing!
As well as starring in the show, you actually came up with the original concept. Where did your inspiration and your love of the ‘50s and ‘60s come from?
I have always loved rock ‘n’ roll. I’m quite old before my time really! I suppose it started from about the age of four when my Dad would play vinyl records and rock ‘n’ roll just became my favourite genre, they are songs that always make you want to get up and dance. So for a long time I’ve had a passion for that era, it was a time full of great singers but not only that, it was their stage craft and their presence which really captured me and still does.
It seems that era is making quite a bit of a comeback in music and fashion these days, is that something you have also noticed?
Absolutely, retro is definitely coming back so all the more reason for people to enjoy The Twist. Our costumes themselves are incredible! I actually play four characters in the show so I get to wear all kinds of dresses and outfits which I love. Some of them are vintage and it was great going out to find them, any excuse to go shopping! The set is fabulous too, the diner really does look authentic.
Is this the first show you have written yourself?
Yes it is. It was quite a scary prospect at first but it is very rewarding being able to travel around and perform something to audiences that started off as something I had written.
How hard has it been for you to create a show and then star in it?
Quite hard because on top of that I direct it as well! So it is a lot of work but I have a brilliant time doing it so I’m extremely happy.
There are legendary icons that feature in The Twist such as Dusty Springfield and Elvis so how do the actors prepare for these roles?
YouTube is a fantastic tool because you have access to so much material from decades ago, so we can study each star from their performances to their mannerisms. We are constantly listening to the artist’s songs as well so we know exactly how we need to perform them.
I’ve been learning from the things people tell me too. A lot of my friends are huge rock ‘n’ roll fans and love that era, so I have them to teach me which is great, and of course there is the knowledge from my Dad which helps me prepare.
Most of all I really try to immerse myself in each of the characters I play. Danny Fisher who plays Elvis is very good at this because he really is a massive fan of the ‘50s and ‘60s era and actually only ever wears vintage clothes, even when he’s offstage!
Do you find there’s quite a bit of pressure when it comes to portraying such well-known icons?
I’d say there is quite a bit of pressure, especially because I play four characters that are all very different from one another. This is especially true for Petula Clark because this is the first time anyone has ever portrayed her in a theatrical show and that’s why she’s my favourite to play.
What makes her even more special is that we have been working with Tony Hatch who wrote and produced songs for Petula back in the 1960s, so that’s a huge honour and I really feel like I have to do her justice.
I’d imagine there are some great well known songs in the show but you have also worked with singer/songwriter Chris Madin on some original tracks such as The Twist Song. What was that like?
Amazing! Chris has worked on Strictly Come Dancing and is an EMI songwriter so it’s fantastic working with him. It makes our show just that little bit different too because we have some of our own songs alongside the well known classics.
The Twist has been touring for a little while now, do you enjoy being on the road?
I love touring! We have a great team and are extremely close. It’s really like a group of friends travelling around!
Will this be your first visit to Lincoln?
Yes it will and I’m very excited to come. Chris Madin is actually from Doncaster so we’re not too far from his neck of the woods which is nice for him. We’re all really looking forward to it and can’t wait to do the show!
If you’d like to head down to see the show on 16th July, you can do so by booking tickets directly at the Lincoln Theatre Royal or by calling the Box Office on 01522 519999.