Former Steps singer Faye Tozer set for Sunderland Empire date with Singin’ in the Rain

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ADOPTED Mackem Faye Tozer says she can’t wait to tread the boards on her home stage.

The Steps singer, who lives in Boldon, has joined the cast of a new UK tour of musical Singin’ In the Rain which will run at the Sunderland Empire for two weeks in January.

It means the 37-year-old from Bedfordshire, who moved to the area after marrying Houghton-born husband Michael Smith, will get to perform as Lina Lamont in the musical for family and friends.

“One of the reasons I wanted to do the show is because I knew it would bring me home for a few weeks and that I would get to perform for my family and friends,” said Faye, who is mum to Benjamin, four.

As one fifth of Steps, Faye topped single and album charts in the UK, Japan, Australia, Europe and the US and sold more than 20 million records worldwide.

After the band’s initial split she has gone on to appear in a host of theatre shows including Tell Me On A Sunday, Me and My Girl and Over The Rainbow.

But despite working in the London-centric world of showbusiness, Faye says she loves living in the North East.

“The North East is home to me, I can relax here and be normal. When I’m in London I consider it to be work. I love being here and living by the sea and seeing my family and friends. The pace of life is slower here and the air is so much healthier,” she said.

The singer added: “I do get recognised in Asda and places like that but everyone just speaks to me normally. I’ve made some good friends here and they don’t care what job I do, they take me as a mum.”

Faye’s latest role sees her performing alongside Maxwell Caulfield in the stage adaptation of the 1952 film starring Gene Kelly.

“We start rehearsals on Monday,” said the mum-of-one. “It’s going to be something completely different to what I’ve done before. Usually I play the young heart-throb roles but this time I get to be the older, funny one.

“Lina’s got a comic but tragic story. The show is about the film industry making the transition from silent movies to talking movies.

“Although Lina looks beautiful, she has this awful screechy voice. It’s really good fun doing the silly voice and she has some of the best lines in the show. It’s a fabulous part to play.”

Last year saw Faye took a break from theatre to concentrate on the Steps reunion TV show, tour and album. And the singer says fans of the pop act can look forward to future announcements.

“We were really surprised that there was such an interest in the band getting back together, we were overwhelmed by the response. It’s nice that people still remember us and have that nostalgia,” she said.

Faye added: “I’m tied up with Singin’ In The Rain for the next six months so there won’t be anything on the cards this year. But we have been in talks, this is definitely not the end of Steps.”

l Singin’ In The Rain is at Sunderland Empire from January 14 to February 1. Tickets priced £10 - £45 are available from Tel. 0844 871 3022 and online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.