WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHEN?: Matinee Sunday 6 June 2021
WHERE?: Above The Stag
Duncan James was the lead singer with boy band Blue and here he sings a selection of songs from his career in a show compered by fellow performer Tim McArthur.
- Read on for reasons including how James was cast in his dream musical theatre role after coming out as gay
James arrives on stage dressed as Dr Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Show displaying his muscular tattooed physique while giving us a powerful rendition of the show’s Sweet Transvestite.
Later in conversation with McArthur he explains: ‘Frank N Furter was my dream role and when I went up for the part I was offered Brad instead. It wasn’t until I came out as gay that they offered me Frank.’
We’ve seen James in roles similar to Brad in both Legally Blonde and Chicago and we learn he appeared onstage as McArthur’s son in pantomime Aladdin and it’s clear the 2 get on very well and have a chemistry together.
This means that the conversation flows easily and James talks about how much of a fan he is of the Eurovision Song Contest which saw Blue finish in 11th in 2011 with I Can which scored 100 points.
He doesn’t think James Newman’s recent Embers, which came last scoring 0 points, was a bad song.
During the interval McArthur comes amongst the audience to ask us whether we have any questions to ask James during the 2nd half which is a nice touch.
McArthur is an actor, director and presenter who performs as nun Sister Mary and here opens the 2nd act of the show dressed as Gina G singing her UK number 1 Just A Little Bit.
The conversation switches to James’ youth and we discover that he landed all the leading drama roles at school and that his voice broke late at 15 and it was then that he started pursuing his passion for singing.
He has a teenage daughter and speaks movingly about wanting to protect her from the dark side of social media and how proud he is of the success she is making of her ballet career.
McArthur dons Elton John-esque glasses to accompany James at the piano on a version of Blue’s cover Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and the star closes with a Seal’s Crazy which once again shows off his fine live vocal.
Above The Stag’s cabaret performance offer the opportunity to buy a socially distanced table at which at least 2 people must sit per performance so no single seats are available. Drinks are available to order via mobile phone.
McArthur hosts similar events throughout the summer at this venue with other stars and details are available at the Tickets link below.