Former Sugababe bringing Rod Stewart's music to Aylesbury

Bucks Free Press: Jade Ewen Jade Ewen

FANS of Rod Stewart's music are in for a treat when Tonight's The Night rolls into Aylesbury next month. Featuring 25 of the legendary singer's songs including Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, Maggie May and Sailing, the musical comedy has former Sugababes singer and Eurovision entrant, Jade Ewen, taking one of the lead roles.

She talked about the appeal of the show, her pop career and Eurovision.

With a book by multi award-winning writer and comedian Ben Elton, Tonight’s The Night has been a smash hit. It is set on the streets of Detroit and in the glamorous clubs of uptown LA and 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.

One night he strikes a deal with the Devil, trading his soul for his hero's Rod Stewart. It seems like a good idea at the time but he is about to find out the hard way that you can’t find true love using another man’s moves.

Jade was cast to play Dee Dee and will be in the show until April 23. She said: "It is really exciting and different with every venue we go to. We don't know what we are going to get.

"By the finale, and singing Sailing, everyone is singing along. We have people shouting out in the middle of songs- there's great crowd interaction.

"It is unbelievable. It is almost like a gig, rather than typical musical theatre."

The 26-year-old said she didn't realise how much of his work she knew until she heard the songs in the production.

And she said she has been really enjoying touring as the cast have got on really well.

But does she like her character? She said: "I think she comes across really aggressive and feisty and lots of attitude but you find out it is all for show.

"She is quite vulnerable, especially when you are singing you hear her sensitive side. "I think people warm to her and realise she is not all bad."

Jade was cast in the show after discussing with her agent what she would like to do next. She was trained at Sylvia Young Theatre School where she was taught to act, sing and dance.

Having a break from her pop career, following the Sugababes splitting up last year, she took the decision to act again, but on stage rather than in the studio. So she was thrilled when she got given the part of Dee Dee.

She said: "It was a really nice surprise. I have been doing the pop stuff for so long- it is just completely different.

"With the pop stuff you look at the audience and interact with them.

"With the theatre, you shouldn't- the audience are observing from the other side of the fish tank, as it were.

"I kept finding myself occasionally just quickly sneaking a look and thought I shouldn't have done that.

"If someone is in the front two rows and chatting away you can hear them and you are going to look where the noise is coming from. "I soon learnt to tune out and stay focused"

Jade joined the Sugababes in 2009, replacing Keisha Buchanan. With the band she toured extensively around the world and had numerous international and UK hits. They broke up last September.

She said: "It was so fun. I hadn't really done that much travelling and I got to see the most exotic places and stay in amazing hotels. "I couldn't quite believe my luck. The band was already up and running."

She said she didn't have to go through the difficult promotional stuff to get the band known and learnt a lot from the other two band members.

Jade said: "I kind of miss the glamorous part of it but there was a lot of not so glamorous parts and horrible hours."

Jade is working on her solo material at the moment and hopes to get back in the studio in April.

She said: "I think every one needs to reset. Also being in the band- it was great- but it wasn't my material. I got caught in that bubble.

"I am now working on subject matters relevant to me. It is good for me to take a break and take a step back."

Jade originally came to prominence in 2009 representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Having been chosen by the public she performed the Andrew Lloyd Webber penned It’s My Time achieving fifth place making her the most successful UK act in the last 13 years.

She said: "Yeah it was funny. I think I didn't realise how massive it is outside the UK. We don't really take it seriously.

"I remember getting to Russia and I had a police escort. It was just mad.

"People were standing at the airport with my picture and CD and things."

In 2011, the entrepreneur Michelle Mone chose Jade to become the new face of the Miss Ultimo range of lingerie.

But Jade said she hasn't always been happy with her figure, although she doesn't have to exercise to stay slim.

She said: "My dad's family are really slim. He is 54, with a six pack, doesn't watch what he eats- he has really good genetics.

"I take after him. When I was younger I hated being skinny- I felt unattractive and self conscious.

"As I have got older I realise it is a good thing."

Jade starred in the ITV show, Splash, last year where celebrities are taught to dive. She said: "I hated it. It was terrifying and nothing fun about it at all.

"I wouldn't recommend anyone doing it. It does make great TV. "The reality thing. It is designed to make celebrities really uncomfortable and put them in the worst situations and see how they react to it.

"I am much more comfortable on stage performing."

Tonight's The Night is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from March 3 to 8 at 7.30pm with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm Ticket range from £12.90 to £33.40 from www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call 0844 8717607.

For more leisure stories including more interviews, what's on and food reviews click here.

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