GARETH Gates contributed in no small part to the massive success of Aladdin at MK Theatre last Christmas, effortlessly winning over audience after another with his affable nature, easy acting ability and THAT singing voice.
So fans will be pleased as punch to learn that the return of Mr Gates to the MK Theatre stage, is nigh.
In fact, he’s back with us from Tuesday, starring alongside Jennifer Ellison in Legally Blonde the musical.
“I play Warner,” Gareth tells GO!
“He is a handsome chappie, and has a huge ego, like me,” he jests.
“It’s a fun role to be playing...I was asked to do it 10 months ago, but had already signed for Hair, so I couldn’t commit then...”
The last time we spoke with Gareth, he was suitably wired about his forthcoming role in the late 60s musical.
But things turned sour.
“It was unfortunate, but the investors went under the week before we were supposed to start rehearsals.”
Instead, the in-demand actor and singer quickly took a role in brand new play, Loserville.
“We did a six week run with that and it was really fantastic – I got a lot out of it, it was my first time playing a baddie, the school bully.
“It was the first time I’ve ever played a role like that.”
But with Loserville completed, when the production team behind Legally Blonde came knocking once again, Gareth was free to sign on the dotted line for a three month stint. “If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know exactly what to expect, because it is pretty much the same storyline...”
And for those of you that haven’t, Legally Blonde stars Faye Brooks as Elle, a girl who can handle anything thrown at her.
When boyfriend Warner dumps her and heads off to Harvard Law School, Elle follows him with the aim of winning him back.
With some help from new-found friends Paulette, Emmett and her beautiful wee-pal Bruiser the Chihuahua she learns that its much better to be smart...
Former Brookside lass turned stage-star, Jennifer takes on the role of Paulette in the feel-good delivery..
When Legally Blonde reaches the end of its run, Gareth won’t have long to put his feet up before heading into panto reheasals once more: “I’ll be in Canterbury this year, in Sleeping Beauty. I’m playing the Prince, and that starts in mid-November..”
Beyond that, there are lots of meetings in the pipeline to help ensure next year’s diary is suitable manic for the fella, and hopefully he’ll be feeling a bit better than he is when he calls us, all bunged up with a cold.
It’s bad enough sitting at a desk feeling lousy, let along having to perform to busy theatres with a nasty case of the lurgy...
“I’ve got lots of nasal sprays and stuff, so I’m usually alright, but it’s just a case of having to grin and bear it,” he says, and it’s that kind of attitude that he’ll no doubt be passing on to pupils of the Gates-Wilkes Academy, at Stantonbury.
The Academy was set up by Gareth and acting pal Jonny Wilkes at the start of the year, to give youngsters confidence and improve the disciplines of acting, dancing and singing.
“It’s been going really well, and some of our kids are going to be used in the pantomime this year...we’ve got some really good singers, already” he promises, before heading off to prepare for opening night.
>Legally Blonde, winner of seven major awards, opens in Milton Keynes on Tuesday evening, and shows nightly at 7.30pm through to Saturday, August 11.
Additional matinee performances are on Saturday and Wednesday, at 2.30pm.
Tickets start at £17.50 and rise to £46.
To book, call 0844 871 7652.