Two times X Factor hopeful JOHN WILDING to make West End stage debut


Photo by Claire Bilyard

Just a few months ago, John Wilding made history as the only X Factor hopeful to reach the judges’ house round for a second year running, only to miss out once again on appearing in the live TV finals after failing to make Gary Barlow’s final four.

But now John, 18, from Essex, is to make his West End stage debut, co-starring with the first ever Pop Idol runner up and recent star of Les Miserables, Gareth Gates.

They will sing the iconic roles of Cain and Abel in the Biblical-inspired musical Children of Eden, by Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz and John Caird, which is being revived in the West End for one night only in a spectacular star-studded charity gala at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Sunday 29 January.

“After coming out of X Factor this year, I only had my placement at Italia Conti theatre school to look forward to,” says John “Now, with this amazing opportunity in Children of Eden, I am more excited than ever! I can't wait to make my debut performance in the West End with such an amazing cast.”

John wowed the judges when he made his return to X Factor, and after a powerful performance of Jennifer Hudson's Love You Like I Do, all four gave him a standing ovation. Tulisa said: “I was blown away. I love people like you, people that get knocked back and they don't take it as a negative, they use it to push themselves and better themselves.” Louis Walsh praised his great singing range and ability to hit the high notes in the difficult song. He said: “Nobody can sing Jennifer Hudson and for a guy to sing it and hit every note, that was incredible.”
Kelly Rowland said: “You belong on a stage, baby.” Gary Barlow was equally impressed with the audition and called it “absolutely sensational”. John looked noticeably different from the previous year and he revealed that he had  spent his life savings – around £5000 – to get his teeth fixed, change his wardrobe, and has even gone on the Atkins diet to look more like a  pop star. 

Children of Eden will be performed by a company of 75, and will feature stars drawn from the West End and TV.  The concert is being staged to raise awareness of the chronic and debilitating condition, Crohn’s disease and all proceeds will be donated to Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Children of Eden had its world premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre on January 8, 1991. It’s a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith. Freely based on the story of Genesis, Children of Eden is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. The show delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: that the hardest part of love is letting go.


Children of Eden 

Prince of Wales Theatre
Coventry Street

Box Office: 0844 482 5116

Sunday 29 January 
at 7.00pm

Tickets from £30.00

VIP Packages include champagne
 pre-show reception, premium seat 
and access to the concert after-party