Sarah-Jane Buckley has already been hailed as one of the world’s leading Eva Cassidy performers and now, Sarah hopes to bring Eva’s story to masses with a brand new tour.

Songbird tells the story of legendary singer, Eva Cassidy from the beginning, right up until her untimely death from melanoma aged 33.

Despite beginning her music career in the early eighties, Eva Cassidy remained virtually unknown outside of Washington DC until her death.

Sarah-Jane, who might be best known to soap fans as Kathy Barnes in Hollyoaks, said: “I first heard her on BBC Radio Two and she had died by then. Terry Wogan played Over the Rainbow and it was just so moving to hear this beautiful voice and from that moment on I was hooked. She had the most amazing vocal range; she sung all different kinds of music and from then on I have just loved singing her songs.”

Terry Wogan is credited with bringing Eva’s music to British audiences when he first played Over the Rainbow on BBC Radio 2 in 2000.

What followed was an overwhelming transformation, from unknown American singer to a worldwide icon.

Eva’s compilation album Songbird reached the top of the UK Album Charts, almost three years after it was first released and her chart success in the UK led to increased recognition worldwide; her posthumously released recordings, including three UK number 1 records, have sold more than ten million copies around the world.

Despite Eva’s tragic tale, Sarah-Jane insists that the show is not meant to make people sad.

“I love performing Eva’s songs and I wanted to put my music into a theatre show and tell the story of her life.

“This isn’t a morbid show, it’s uplifting. It’s like you are watching Eva herself. I have a great live band and I sing the songs. What you get from it is a real sense of her.”

Whether you’re an age-old fan of Eva Cassidy’s music or a brand new fan, Sarah-Jane’s new show is bound to entertain, with over 25 of well-known songs, including Songbird, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Fields of Gold, packed into the evening.

Sarah-Jane, who admits she has had a passion for singing since “before she could walk and talk” and has spent years perfecting the songs, said: “My favourite song to perform has to be Over the Rainbow. It’s just so beautiful and full of emotion. To see how the audience reacts and how it makes them feel when you perform it is amazing.”

As well as Sarah-Jane singing all the classic Eva Cassidy songs, her live band will also be providing the backing music during the show.

Sarah-Jane said: “I handpicked all of the musicians I perform with. I was very lucky to be able to choose who I worked with personally and they are all so lovely, they have a wealth of talent and knowledge. We have an acting element to the show as well, so they’re all very talented.

“I worked with Jack Pinder 20 years ago so it’s lovely to be able to work with him again.”

Sarah-jane is hopeful that her new show will encourage people to get back into going to the theatre.

“I really just want to get people back into the theatre and love music. Watching something live is just so different than just watching it on the TV. Watching something on TV, you just don’t get that same experience; you don’t get to feel the joy of a live show.”

Despite a successful career in television, Sarah-Jane says you just can’t beat the feeling of performing to a live audience.

“It’s the feedback you get and the connection you make with the audience. There’s nothing like seeing the audience enjoying themselves.

“I love being on TV and in the theatre, but being on stage is just so different, it’s exciting. We’ve received standing ovations before and I was just so shocked the first time it happened. I was like ‘oh, you actually liked it?’

“With theatre, you get a reaction straight away from the audience. You know straight away if they are enjoying what you’re doing and I love that.”

With rehearsals last week, Sarah-Jane is ready and raring to get on with the tour.

“We’ve been rehearsing this week to get everyone on track and it’s so exciting. I really enjoy touring and being on the road. I get to see all my friends along the way, it’s lovely!

“I really love the Wycombe Swan and the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. They’re both beautiful venues to perform in so I’m excited to be heading back to them next month.

“I still love the songs, even though I have sung them so many times. I'm ready to get back on the stage and have a go at singing them again, it’s so much fun.”

As well as performing on stage, Sarah-Jane has also played a key role in making the tour possible as co-producer.

“My role as co-producer means I do absolutely everything, from ringing venues and booking shows to writing the script. I never realised how hard it was going to be, but I’m so proud of it.

“This show is my baby. If you want to have an experience that’s going to touch your heart and uplift you, then this is the show for you.”

Songbird: The Music of Eva Cassidy will be showing at the Wycombe Swan on 12 February. Tickets are £23, available from or by calling 01494 512 000. The show will return to South Bucks on 21 February, with a showing at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets range from £20.40 to £40.40, available from or by calling the box office on 0844 8717607.