We recently organised a competition to give away a pair of tickets to That’ll be the Day which garnered a lot of attention and participation. We were also extended a pair of tickets by the organisers at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre to review the show. We were told that the show has been UK’s most successful touring rock ‘n’ roll production, going strong for over 30 years. As fans of old bands and golden tunes from yesteryears, we headed to the performance wondering if we were really going to enjoy the show and what was so different about the show that it has been going on for so long. The show opened with a video screen projection with Trevor and Peter acting as Dr Emmet and Marty from Back to the Future. The video was well made and the effect was believable and soon after we were transported to 1953 and were taken on a time travel journey with music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and what a journey it was!
Throughout the show, we could see the crowd (which was mainly in their 60s) enjoying the show and dancing to golden numbers from artist such as Cilla Black, Beatles, Cliff Richard, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Buddy Holly, Lulu, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Roy Orbison, Elvis, The Shadows, ABBA and many others. We found ourselves humming to the hit tunes, laughing at the hilarious comedy sketches and postcard humour. Special mention goes to both Trevor and Gary who were both animated and boisterously merry.. they both gave the show such character and kept the momentum going in between the songs.
We were thrilled to see that it was a full house despite it being midweek, many of those who came seemed to be fans who have seen the show numerous times before but still can’t get enough of it. Our favourite had to be Trevor who was amazing with his rendition of Cliff Richard and Mick Jagger’s numbers and he portrayed the characters to a tee. Jane Watkins was fabulous as she embraced her character and made it so believable and her singing voice is so captivating as well. The rest of the show’s multi-talented cast such as Peter who portrayed Michael Jackson and Nikki were excellent as well. The dance routines were well choreographed and the costumes were complimenting the songs. We loved how they synced the live performance with the audiovisual screen projections and live performance especially of A-ha’s song, Take on Me.
We did not realise that the show went on for over 3 and a half hour until it ended as we were having a lot of good time. Personally, the show brought back a lot of nostalgic memories as we grew up listening to these numbers. Although the majority of the crowd were much older, we thought anyone from any age would have loved the show. It certainly did not stop us from having a great time…. as we felt that music is timeless. We also had the chance to bring back a little something of the show as there was a memorabilia stall selling lots of DVD and CDs of their songs. If you have not seen their performance yet, its totally worth watching it!
Cast & Crew
Trevor Payne – Writer – Production – Producer – Cast
Leading up to 1986 he had begun to realise that he had to change direction. Although successful, his act at the time ‘Fizzical’ had no long-term future. When Fizzical were invited to be part of a Rock & Roll package show in 1985 it wasn’t long before he had the idea which would turn into T.B.T.D. Over the next few years, they nursed it and rehearsed it. He has now directed 32 editions and 31 Xmas shows! He has enjoyed the ride and still has the best of times on stage. He says that although it’s always a challenge to change the show every year, it’s been one of the main reasons for TBTD’s continued success. Change is good, how else could they have progressed? As for retirement, he is not considering it.
Trevor met Gary in the 70’s when they appeared on the same bill in a famous cabaret club ‘Jollees’ in Stoke on Trent and again in 1988 when Trevor was at a holiday centre in Cornwall to explain what he wanted Gary to do in ‘That’ll be the Day’. Neither of them knew it but Gary was destined for TBTD. They both hit it off straight away and Gary’s enthusiasm has never waned since. He could move, had a great voice and only had to walk on stage to get an audience on his side. On top of that, he had an uncanny accuracy when impersonating. They both developed an understanding as a double act comparable to any. Gary is a great talent and a pleasure to work with and part of the backbone of this show.
Peter John Jackson
Pete continues to delight TBTD audiences with his ability as a musician and vocalist. Able to sing anything from Johnny Cash to Frankie Valli he can adapt to any vocal style and he’s constantly adding new artists to his repertoire. He plays guitar and bass guitar right handed but when he was in the Beatles show in London’s West End he taught himself to play the McCartney violin bass left-handed to emulate his favourite singer/ musician Paul. Now that’s attention to detail! His accurate vocal impressions are proving a big hit with the fans and he’s equally at home joining the cast in all the production pieces. He’s found his natural home in TBTD.
Jane appeared in some of last year’s Christmas shows and is now fully integrated into the new production. It’s quite a daunting thing to come into an established company like theirs as they tend to work in a unique way and most of the cast have been together a long time. Jane has hit the ground running and the fans, are very pleased with her. She’d been recommended to us as someone who would flourish in TBTD and she’s doing just that. Jane originates from Wales and she earned a BA honours degree in Musical Theatre. She wisely didn’t restrict herself to one style of singing but instead worked in many different productions that required her to sing pop, rock, soul and show songs from musicals. Add a little Jazz and country music plus a talent for comedy and Jane has developed into an extremely versatile vocalist which is exactly what’s required for That’ll be the Day. She has worked in Spain and the Netherlands in pop production shows and had the wonderful experience of a luxury world cruise for ‘ Silverseas’. Jane has a great sense of humour and fun which is invaluable and enjoyed by the company. She’s already added to her repertoire in this new TBTD production and has even made her debut in the band!
Nikki Renee Hechavarria
Trevor had put an advertisement in a trade paper to find a girl vocalist who was able to start in time for the new production in August 2008. He subsequently met Nikki in Derek Block’s office in London. They covered as much ground as they could but you never know really until anyone starts performing. Trevor needn’t have worried, Nikki knew ‘how to do it’ and became an instant hit. She had been appearing in London in the Disney production of Lion King having transferred from the Canadian show – but had plenty of pop experience too, having worked in a Motown musical. Versatile and confident. Nikki has been raised in Canada and is a hard worker, so she copes well with the demands of TBTD’s tough touring schedule but hasn’t lost any of her North American accent… If Nikki says it’s it’s Toosday it’s Tuesday!”
When will the That’s be The Day be taking place?
Their next performances will be taking place on Friday, 26 October at 7.30pm. But do note that it might already be sold out. If it is, then hurry and book their next show taking place at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre on 7 & 8 March 2019. They will also be having a special Christmas themed show at Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent on 2 December this year.
How much are the tickets?
Tickets are priced at £24.50 each
How can I book ?
Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01785 619080 or by visiting Stafford Gatehouse Theatre’s website.
Where is Stafford Gatehouse Theatre?
Stafford Gatehouse is an old Victorian theatre for professional and amateur shows, including Shakespeare and children’s plays. In 2007, the Borough Hall was reopened as Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, by his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. The Borough Hall was originally opened on 20 June 1877 and the building once housed Stafford Borough Council.
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre
Tel: 01785 619080
Where to park?
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is in the heart of Stafford, just seconds from the main shopping centre and central tourist attractions. It is less than 10 minutes drive from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M6 and can be found by following the theatre mask symbols on routes into the town centre. There are ample parking facilities a short walk away from the theatre and cycle racks are available outside the building.
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