Milton Keynes Theatre
20 – 24 March 2007
Tue-Thu eves 7.30pm; Fri & Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm
As a youngster, Antony Costa had roles in Grange Hill and The Bill and played the lead in the hit BBC sitcom "Chalk", but it was in 2001 at the age of 20 that he shot to fame as a member of multi-million selling boy band Blue, whose hits included "All Rise" and "One Love".
After selling over 12 million records worldwide with Blue, he released a solo single and also attempted to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision. Then there was a stint in the jungle in "I'm A Celebrity ....". But more recently he has finished starring as Mickey Johnston in Blood Brothers in his West End debut, a part which won him rave reviews.
Now the pop sensation of the early 2000s is joining with 70s pop legend Alvin Stardust and former EastEnder Nick Bailey [Dr Trueman] in the 10th Anniversary Tour of Boogie Nights - The 70s Musical.
The show, which features over 30 classic hits from the 1970s, including We Are Family, Celebration, YMCA, I Will Survive, Play That Funky Music and many, many more, stops off in Milton Keynes from 20-24 March.
We caught up with Antony, who plays the central character, ‘Roddy O’Neil’, and he told us about the show, his time in Blood Brothers and how he'd like to get back with the Blue boys and do it all again!
You're playing Roddy in Boogie Nights, what can you tell me about the character?
Antony: He's a bit of a fun loving boy, a cheeky chappy but with a good heart at the end of it. I think the portrayal I want to take is the real "up" guy but at the end of the day he's got a nice heart. I've seen some Roddys that have been completely different and I want to play it how I want to play it. He's a fun loving character and I hope the audience at the end love him not hate him.
At the end of the show, it can almost seem like he's just loved and left women can't it?
Antony: Yes - and I don't want to be like that!
You weren't even born in the seventies were you? Where have you got your impression of them from?
Antony: [laughs] I wasn't even thought of! My memories are from my mum and my gran. My favourite band of all time is Earth, Wind and Fire. I grew up with that music - The Dooby Brothers, Kool and the Gang, Heatwave - that's the music that I like to listen to! They made such great music and to be a part of this [Boogie Nights] now is going to be cool!
We [Blue] did a duet with Kool and the Gang. I remember meeting them in Monaco. They were listening to us backstage singing and I got all star struck and the boys were like "who the hell are they?" Once I told them, it was like "yeah yeah" and we ended up doing a song with them!
What do you think of the seventies fashions?
|Nick Bailey, Antony Costa and Alvin Stardust|
Antony: Brilliant. And it's coming back. No matter how many people knock Starsky and Hutch's cardigans, I've seen people wearing them now!
You weren't really known for musical theatre, even though that's what you trained in, then you got a lead role in Blood Brothers - Mickey Johnston. How did that come about?
Antony: I literally just went for the audition. There were ten or eleven other lads going for the part and I walked in there and did it. Then the director Bob called me in the next day in front of Bill Kenwright, plus the company manager and the musical director. I did my little sing and Bob stopped me half way through so I thought that I'd mucked it up.
Then Bill went "where are you from?" And I said "London". He then asked if my family were from Liverpool and I said "no". And I'll never forget he had a nice little happy smirk on his face. Then I found out that he thought I was from Liverpool so for me that was like an amazing achievement. I know it sounds really silly and really small but for me it was incredible. I will never ever forget that from Bill and him giving me the chance to portray Mickey on stage.
And you've had great reviews so it must have been a good experience?
Antony: It's been an amazing experience and one of the best decisions of my life. The thing about that is that it will always be on my CV. If you ask any jobbing actor about Mickey Johnston, that is the part they would want to play and I'm lucky enough to have played it.
It is a fantastic part because the show is more than just a musical isn't it?
Antony: Yes - there was more acting than singing which I liked.
Is this where you see your career now - in musical theatre?
|Antony Costa, Alvin Stardust and Nick Bailey|
Antony: I don't know - if there's a good script and it's a good part then yes. But I wouldn't just do musicals for the sake of doing musicals because I can hold a note. I want to be able to have good script and one thing about Boogie Nights is that it's got great songs but there's also a good script at the end of it.
There is a good story behind it and I think if a show is very story driven then the music just comes on top. Boogie Nights has got a good story and that's why I'm doing it.
Do you think you'll do some more recording at some stage?
Antony: At the moment I've got no interest. This [Boogie Nights] tides me over until July and there's some other TV stuff in the pipeline [fingers crossed] after the summer, so that will tide me over for the year really. But if the boys want to get back together and do a tour, then yeah, but at the moment I don't really want to do solo stuff.
Blue were really, really successful - what's it like being in a boy band?!
Antony: It's mental. Going around, travelling with three of your mates, having a right old crack and just enjoying it. I've been to places where I never thought I'd ever go such as Australia, Japan and Thailand. And we were meeting fans, and performing and were getting paid for it! What more do you want?! And I just hope one day we can get back together and do it all over again!
Does the press attention of being in something like that get you down?!
Antony: The press are there to do a job and we're there to do a job. If we all can support each other then it's great. I find it hard sometimes when they big you up and then knock you down just as quick. It's really hard because it does get you down.
You were in "I'm A Celebrity .... is that a fond memory?
Antony: Yes, it was amazing - I'd do it again tomorrow! We had the best cast I think! We had a great cast, I had a great experience and I made nine new friends!
What's your ambition?
Antony: Well, I'm doing this until July. But I'd like to do a two part drama on one of the terrestrials - with a real good script, and no music involved, I just want to be able to do a nice drama with a good cast.
And get rid of your "Antony Costa from Blue" tag?
Antony: Yes. I just hope that people who come and see this don't associate me with Blue. I want them to come and enjoy the show that I'm part of with Nick [Bailey] and Alvin [Stardust] and a great cast of people, not just because that geezer from Blue is in it! I just want to be known as Anthony Costa who's in Boogie Nights who just happened to be in a band. It isn't my fault where my life took me and I'm glad that I've proved a lot of people wrong who came to see me in Blood Brothers!