Sunday 5 April 2020

Joe McElderry: My new character is just me after four vodkas!

Following a successful run as Joseph, Joe McElderry returns to Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre to bring Club Tropicana to Gloucestershire.

It’s been 10 years since Joe McElderry graced our television screens on The X Factor with his chart-topping cover of ‘The Climb.’ But since then, the star has made his name in musical theatre with lead performances in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 2015 and his own Saturday Night at the Movies show in 2017.

Now, returning to Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre as Garry, a club rep in new musical Club Tropicana, SoGlos finds out what to expect in McElderry’s latest role.


Club Tropicana has an brilliant 80s soundtrack, what’s it been like to perform such iconic songs?

Club Tropicana has a great storyline. It’s a great fun, family-friendly show that you can come along to and sing-a-long to. It’s feel-good and I’ve realised that 80s music is still massively relevant, and that I know most of the songs!

I don’t remember them being played over the radio, but subconsciously I must have heard them many, many times because when we first had a read through of the show, I found I knew not just the tunes, but the lyrics to nearly all of them.

That’s the impact 80s music has had on me, even though I wasn’t even born!

You’ve taken on some huge musical theatre roles in the last few years, has that always been something you wanted to get into?

Joseph was a challenge because I was stepping into an iconic role that lots of very famous people have become very loved for playing, Philip Schofield, Jason Donovan and Donny Osmond.

I’d seen them and grew up with them playing Joseph, so I realised the weight of the role I was taking on, I didn’t want to be the worst person to play it!

Coming from a show like The X Factor I wanted people to come to the show and say: ‘he deserves to be in that role and isn’t there because he was on television’. I didn’t want to be one of those people just put in the job to sell tickets. So, I felt the pressure to be good and worked really hard!


You were only 18 when you appeared on The X Factor, now you’re 27. What’s it been like doing a lot of growing up in the spotlight?

Becoming an adult while in the industry has made me a more confident performer. I didn’t trust my own ability as much as I do now, I was a bit unsure of myself.

There was that pressure of being thrust into the public eye with lots of different people with different opinions behind the scenes telling me to do this or do that. I had to learn how to navigate a way through that, but I was lucky, I had a really strong tight-knit family behind me, and still do.

I cope under pressure better than when I am not under pressure! I think that comes from the boiling pot that is The X Factor, it’s so intense you had no choice but to get your head down and get on with it.

What can people expect from your latest role in Club Tropicana?

I play a club rep called Garry. He’s camp, he’s witty, very flamboyant and quite sassy!

I’ve never played a comedy role before, but it’s been really fun. At first, I was really nervous but I’m excited by it now. There’s no rules with Garry, he’s probably just me after four or five vodkas!


For more information see Club Tropicana, call (01242) 572573 or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Friday 05 April 2019

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