Prepare to laugh, sing and dance

Ben Heathcoate and cast performing in Tonight's the Night - the Rod Stewart Musical.
Ben Heathcoate and cast performing in Tonight's the Night - the Rod Stewart Musical.

As the musical containing many of Rod Stewart’s best known and most loved songs gets set to roll into town this month - the man tasked with bringing the songs to life says he can’t wait to get back to Derry - and to enjoy a pint in Badgers!

Ben Heathcoate - who has graced the Millennium Forum stage before during the UK tour of Fame said he was very much looking forward to bring Tonight’s the Night to Derry.

“It’s a powerhouse of a show,” he said. “Pretty much from the start the music starts and it doesn’t stop until the end - just one well known song after another.”

Penned by comedian Ben Elton - who was also behind the hugely successful musical ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ - Ben says has a fairly simple but enjoyable premise.

“Basically its about a nerdy guy, you know who hates his job, wants the girl etc. One night he says he would sell his soul to the devil to be as cool as Rod Stewart - and of course the devil appears and the deal is struck.”

But the transformed lead character Stew finds that fame and fortune are not all they thought they would be and he can’t quite manage to get things to go right.

“At the same time the ‘real’ Rod Stewart has be given Stew’s nerdiness - so there is a level of crossover’.

The musical flies through all those well known Stewart songs - ‘We Are Sailing’, ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear it Well’ - as well as some of those songs you may not quite remember Rod singing originally - the likes of ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Talk About it’.

“Yes we get the audience singing along, and dancing along. When we did the show in Edinburgh, I barely had to sing - the audience just sang back to me. These are songs that you know, even if you don’t realise you do.”

Ben admits the show runs are a breakneck speed - but he already knows how he is going to relax come curtain down at the Millennium Forum.

“I have a few friends in Derry so I’m very much looking forward to seeing them again - and getting over to Badgers for a pint!”

Tonight’s the Night runs at the Millennium Forum from May 12 to 17. For more information or to book tickets visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk