A whole lotta Rod at Lyceum

Jade Ewan, Jenna Lee-James and Ben Heathcoate who are appearing at The Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in Tonights the Night

Jade Ewan, Jenna Lee-James and Ben Heathcoate who are appearing at The Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in Tonights the Night

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Sugababe Jade Ewen is having a great time in her new role as an actress in Tonight’s the Night, a musical based on the hits of Rod Stewart.

Jade went to theatre school as a youngster and said: “Since Sugababes this is my first theatre job. It’s been really great. Everybody told me before I started it’s like pop touring but harder. The hardest part is the travelling – performing and singing are just fine.”

She said of the show: “It’s about a geeky guy who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for Rod Stewart’s. The love interest is Mary and I play Dee Dee, her best friend. She is always quite feisty and aggressive. There’s a bit of a love triangle that goes on and you see her being vulnerable and a bit more sensitive.”

Of course, Jade gets to show off her singing skills as well and says she particularly loves performing an acapella version of The First Cut is the Deepest. She said: “It’s a nice moment for me.”

The show features 25 of Rod’s songs with a full band.

She has had a great time on the tour. “The opening night in Manchester was amazing, finally seeing the whole thing come to life. It was terrifying but once I’d done it I wanted to go on again!

“In Edinburgh they were out for a good laugh. There were lots of Rod Stewart lookalikes in the audience – it was really bizarre.”

Aged 26, she admits: “Rod Stewart’s music sort of passed me by. I wasn’t aware of how much I knew until rehearsal.

“His music is so well known that you can’t not know it, even if you don’t go out of your way to buy his albums. He wasn’t my generation but my parents definitely like the music.”

She hasn’t met the great man yet. “Rumour is that Rod Stewart is coming to see it in Glasgow, which is the week after l leave. I know he’s seen it in the past. It’s been reworked this time round and people definitely prefer the changes.”

Jade will miss out, though, as Sheffield is her last week in the role and she moves on to a new show. “I have a week off and then start rehearsing for Porgy and Bess in Regent’s Park. I get to sing Summertime. My mum’s favourite ever musical is Porgy and Bess. I am sure there will be a family trip out.”

She has mixed views about her time in the Sugababes. “I was the last Sugababe, I came in right towards the end. There were so many line-up changes, it was difficult to keep that going. The drama overshadowed the music.

“The band had been very much about the great songs. When that got lost people just grew tired of it.

“I came into it really excited and happy to have the opportunity. I got there and it was really quite negative. I didn’t get what I wanted to do and just sing but it has led on to other things which has been amazing.”

Tonight’s the Night is on at the Lyceum this week until Saturday. Tickets from the Crucible box office, online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call 0114 249 6000.