Monkeeing about with Stephen Kirwan!


23rd March: Today we caught up with star of new musical Monkee Business Stephen Kirwan on a break from the rehearsals for the show. The new musical mystery featuring exotic locations, far out cars, groovy spies and The Monkees’ biggest hits, is swinging into the Manchester Opera House for its world premiere ahead of its Scottish premiere at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow this April.

Written by Peter Benedict, directed by David Taylor and choreographed by David Morgan the show tells the story of four innocent boys who fall prey to an evil record producer and are tricked into impersonating one of the biggest bands in the world. The Monkees, made up of Manchester-born Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, became one of most successful bands of their generation releasing 121 songs on nine albums and influencing many future artists.

In this new show, Stephen Kirwan plays Andy, posing as Micky Dolenz.

Tell us a bit about Monkees the Musical.
What a lot of people don’t know is that this show has been a long time coming. It’s been 27 years in the making since Peter Benedict first thought a Monkees musical would be a great idea. It only really came together as a show in the last four years and we were concerned that the public might think that it only came about following the sad death of Davy Jones but it’s been around much longer. We’ve actually dedicated the Manchester run to Davy Jones.

How are rehearsals going?
The rehearsals are going really well. The energy that everybody gives it is amazing. It’s getting better and better and changing as it goes along. There’s some really nice physical comedy as well as Peter Benedict’s writing that keeps changing as we bring it together. There’s so much happening in the show, it’s a bit Austin Powers with nobody who they say they are. There’s a lot for the audience to take in as it all starts to unravel.

Do you have a favourite song in the show?
The show’s not just Monkees songs, there’s their well-known hits like I’m a Believer and Daydream Believer that Davy sings but in rehearsing the show we’ve got to know some of the less well-known numbers and grown to love them. Shades of Grey is one that all four of us enjoy, it’s just us on stage standing there and it does get a bit like a Westlife moment but it’s a calm bit in the show. There are also songs in the show by other artists like My Boy Lollipop and Back in the USSR so the audiences will know the music.

What are you looking forward to about the tour?
It’s a good time for this to come out; people need to have a good time. While we’re on tour it feels like the whole West End seems to be out on the road, I think Phantom’s in town while we’re in Manchester. Our show’s a refreshing alternative to others because it’s so full of energy and optimism. I’ve never performed in Glasgow before, I love the city and I’ve been to Loch Lomond but I’m looking forward to actually performing in Glasgow.

Monkee Business the Musical opens in its Scottish premiere at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow this April also starring Ben Evans (Chuck – posing as Davy Jones), Oliver Savile (William – posing as Peter Tork) and Tom Parsons (Mark – posing as Mike Nesmith).

Manchester Opera House
Friday 30 March – Saturday 14 April 2012
Box Office 0844 871 3018

King's Theatre, Glasgow
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 April 2012
Tue – Sat 7.30pm
Ticket prices £19.50 - £39.50
Box Office 08448 717 648

Sunderland Empire
Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 April 2012
Box Office 0844 871 3022