A South Tyneside performer is rubbing shoulders with Love Island’s Caroline Flack and West End star Tom Chambers in a new tour of a Broadway musical.
Stacey Ghent from Whiteleas plays Patricia in Crazy For You, a story of mistaken identities and plot twists, with a classic score by the Gershwin brothers.
The feel-good musical opens this week in Plymouth and will roll into Newcastle Theatre Royal from September 12-16.
Stacey, 32, who plays the trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as acting in the production, says she’s looking forward to being back on home turf.
She said: “I live in London now but people always love my accent when they hear it. Nine times out of ten, they have an aunty or know someone from Shields, there’s always a link. All roads seem to lead to Shields.”
Stacey used to be musical director at the local Performers Stage School before moving to London to pursue her dreams. She says growing up in Shields, which has spawned a host of successful performers, including Jade and Perrie from Little Mix and Joe McElderry, helped spark her love of the stage.
“I’ve no idea why it’s so successful in performing arts,” she said. “Obviously there’s the Customs House and I remember there just always being a lot going on when I was growing up. I remember going to Tommy Parties (hosted by children’s entertainer Tommy the Trumpeter) down the beach and even if you weren’t a performer you’d always be encouraged to get up and do something. I’d love to think it’s just something in the water.”
During a break in rehearsals, she said: “The rehearsals have gone really well, there’s a lot to learn, it’s a really big production. We’re actor musicians in it, so it’s not just learning your scenes, you have to learn the music as well, and then how you all come together. It’s not quite an opera but it’s very music-heavy.”
Former Boldon School pupil Stacey features alongside 2014 Strictly Come Dancing winner Caroline Flack, who makes her stage debut as Irene, and star of TV and stage Tom Chambers as Bobby.
They’ll be breathing new life into well-known tracks such as I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You.
Speaking about her co-stars, Stacey said: “It’s got a brilliant cast. I haven’t worked with Caroline as much, but I have with Tom as I’m in most of my scenes with him and he’s great. I’d never met either of them before, but they’re great to work with and are really committed.
“It’s one of those shows where you don’t realise how many of the tracks you’ll know, like in Jersey Boys. It’s got some great numbers, like I Got Rhythm, all these old standards.”
•Tickets for Crazy for You are available from 08448 112121.
•We have a pair of tickets to give away to Crazy for You for its opening night in Newcastle on September 12. To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: which hit reality show about couples living in a villa did Caroline Flack recently present?
Email your answer and contact details to Katy.Wheeler@jpress.co.uk by August 25.