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Hits of Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson performed in new stage show

PUBLISHED: 13:08 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 December 2015

Picture by: Paul Boyling

Picture by: Paul Boyling

Paul Boyling 07977074356

It will be performed next year.

A stage show will be bringing the hits of iconic performers such as Aretha Franklin and James Brown to Bromley.

Soul Legends will be performed at the Churchill Theatre early next year.

The show features more than 30 well-loved songs including Respect, Soul Man, Knock On Wood, Proud Mary and You’re My First My Last My Everything.

It is the brainchild of show producer Michael Taylor, who has said that the performance will be “the feel good show of the year”.

He said: “It’s all aboard the sensational soul train show of the year.

“We embark from soul’s heady sixties origins, steaming non-stop through to the present day via everyone’s favourite seventies and eighties dance classics.”

And Mr Taylor has a good track record for producing other successful musical shows.

Spokesman for the show, Gary Mac, said: “Michael Taylor produced a show called Thank You For The Music - which has been to the Churchill a few times and to the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. That was about 20 years ago and the premise for that was it was a combination of music from Abba and the Bee Gees in a current show. That did really well.

“He also produced a show called the Magic of Motown. That does really well too, it’s packed with 36 number one hits.

“Soul Legends is the newest show from our stable.

“It covers everything from the sixties, where we had artists like Aretha Franklin, to the seventies where you have got people like Barry White and James Brown, and Tina Turner whose music spanned both those eras. It goes through to the Earth Wind and Fire and those kind of acts, going into the eighties where you have got Michael Jackson in what was probably the peak of his career.

“We have packed 32 hit songs into it and it’s probably what I would like to call our most upbeat, dance-y show of the lot really.

“If you went to a party then you would hear all of these songs. They are classics and stand the test of time.”

Mr Mac said that this was reflected in the wide age range of audiences who came to see the show.

“There are people in their 60s who remember Aretha Franklin and James Brown, and people in their 40s and 50s who used to go to venues like Flicks in Dartford. It takes you back to those days,” he said.

“You find a lot of youngsters there who like a good night out, it’s a good party night out. After the excess of Christmas and New Year’s Eve why stop there?”

He added: “I think there are different favourites for different age groups.

“I Feel Good by James Brown would be for more mature customers, and they really enjoy that and the Aretha Franklin songs.

“There are universally loved songs like, things like Get Down On It by Kool and the Gang and Beat It by Michael Jackson, and Barry White’s You’re My First My Last My Everything - they are good dance-y songs and everybody gets up.”

The show also includes the music of arists including Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, Chaka Khan, Edwin Starr, Sam and Dave, Lionel Richie and The Pointer Sisters.

The performers who sing the well-loved songs also learn choreography and make the experience as authentic as possible for audiences.

Mr Mac explained: “The show is cast before it goes on the road, it’s a year in the making. When you are casting the artists you want people who not only sound like but look like the acts that they are portraying.

“The guys that portray the artists have to stay in character all the time - not only do they have to sound like them and look like them, they have to have that warmth with the audience and a rappor. It does take a certain kind of person. It adds another element to it.

“They ask people what their favourite songs are, staying in character. You’re looking and speaking like them and being a nice person at the same time.”

He added: “If you say the word tribute it conjures up the image of someone in a pub with a microphone. That’s something we always have to overcome. It’s a proper production, with backdrops and sets.”

And the cast of the show all wear a number of authentic costumes in order to emulate the original performers.

“There are more than 12 costume changes in the show,” explained Mr Mac.

“It can be even busier back stage than it is on stage. I think when they get on stage they are breathing a sigh of relief that they are all in the right gear.

“The costumes are designed by Claire Clements, she designs them for the Magic of Motown shows as well.

“She’s an expert seamstress.”

The show will be performed at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on January 15 2016.

Tickets to the performance are £25 or £23.50 with concessions.

The performance will be starting at 7.30pm.

For more information or to book tickets to the show visit www.atgtickets.com/bromley or call the box office on 08448 717 620.

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