TAKE That legend, singer, songwriter, composer, producer, talent show judge and author Gary Barlow will present his theatrical one-man show A Different Stage at the Grand Opera House, York, on June 10 and 11 .
“Now I’ve done shows where it has just been me and a keyboard,” says Barlow, “I’ve done shows where I sit and talk to people. I’ve done shows where I’ve performed as part of a group.
“But this one, well, it’s like all of those, but none of them. When I walk out this time, well, it’s going to be a very different stage altogether.”
Tickets for the York shows, part of an itinerary of 24 dates in seven cities, go on sale on Friday at 9.30am at atgtickets.com/York or on 0844 871 7615.
Telling his life story, in his words, in a “dramatised theatre setting”, A Different Stage premiered at The Brindley, in Runcorn, Cheshire, in February, since when Barlow has played to sell-out audiences in Salford, Liverpool and Edinburgh and has announced his West End debut at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre from August 30 to September 25.
Created by Barlow and his long-time friend, fellow son of the Wirral and collaborator Tim Firth, A Different Stage finds Barlow narrating the journey of his life alongside the music from his discography in a 32-year career spanning Take That, solo projects and his musicals Finding Neverland and Calendar Girls The Musical.
The show’s publicity describes A Different Stage as “a project unlike anything he’s ever done before, where Gary will take the audience behind the curtain, with nothing off limits in this special performance”.
As part of Take That, Barlow has won eight BRIT Awards and sold over 45 million records, and among his stellar collaborations he has co-written and produced songs for Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John and Robbie Williams.
Since turning his attention to the world of theatre, he has composed the score for Finding Neverland, worked alongside Tim Firth on Calendar Girls The Musical and collaborating with his Take That bandmates and Firth on The Band’, a record-breaking stage musical now being adapted into a feature film.
Coming next will be Barlow’s autobiography, also entitled A Different Stage. Published by Penguin Books on September 1, it “documents the people, places, music and cultural phenomena that have had an impact on him both as a musician and a human being” in a warm-hearted, humorous and unexpectedly intimate memoir.
“Sometimes you are forced to take stock and wonder what your life’s all been about, and where it is going,” says Barlow. “Ever since I was a boy, I’ve thought that music makes things better. A Different Stage is my love letter to music, a celebration of the songs and sounds that have inspired me and meant something in my life.’
From the working men’s club where it all began through to the stadium tours, the book’s story of Barlow’s life, told through music, is complemented by photography from his one-man show and previously unseen personal photos and notebooks.
“I just wanted to share my personal journey through the last five decades – the highs and lows, the ups and downs. So, in A Different Stage, this is me opening the curtains and sharing moments nobody has heard or seen before,” says Barlow.
This week, York Stage’s York premiere of Barlow and Firth’s Calendar Girls The Musical is running at the Grand Opera House with performances at 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow, 4pm and 8pm on Saturday and 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday. Tickets are still available.