BEST known as one-fifth of the internationally successful pop group Steps Faye Tozer is now carving out a career in musical theatre.
The blonde bombshell has wowed the crowds in lead roles in Me and My Girl and the recent critically acclaimed Tailor Made Man at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End.
Born in Northampton, Faye grew up in Dunstable and trained at the Anne Gale School of Dance.
“When I was at school I was studying theatre arts, and musical theatre was always a love of mine. But in 1997 when I went to audition for Steps my career took a different path,” says Faye.
Faye has since enjoyed combining a successful pop career with theatre work and acting, making her professional musical-theatre debut in 2004, in a National Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s one-woman musical Tell Me on a Sunday
She has now joined the cast of the smash hit West End production of Singin’ in the Rain, portraying the character Lina Lamont, star of the silent screen who finds it difficult to transition into talkie movies.
“Lina is a big, blonde, striking woman with a huge personality,” says Faye.
“She’s a 1930s Hollywood movie star and a big silent movie star. We join the tale where movies are moving from silent to talkies and Lina has a shrill voice and has to be dubbed.”
The stage production follows the 1952 film version very closely, which starred musical icons such as Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.
The story tells the tale of Don Lockwood, a silent movie star with everything he could ever want – fame, adulation and a well-publicised romance with his co-star Lina Lamont.
But Hollywood is about to change and there is a rumour in the studio of a new kind of film where the actors actually talk, sing and dance.
Can Don and the uniquely voiced Lina make the transition and will chorus girl Kathy Selden fulfil her dream of stardom – and capture Don’s heart along the way?
The musical features songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed including Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and Singin’ in the Rain.
This stage production uses an incredible half a mile of flexible pine work, a 10-tonne water tank and a water system which creates a downpour from above and flooding from bellowing the stage.
“There is 12,000 litres of water recycled every performance so it really does rain on stage,” says Faye.
“To see it in real life is thrilling.”
Faye is joined by stage and screen leading man Maxwell Caulfield who plays studio box RF Simson, James Leece as Don Lockwood, Amy Ellen Richardson playing Kathy Selden and Stephane Anelli as Cosmo Brown.
“When I first found out I was auditioning for Lina I was a bit put out and thought I would be going up for the Debbie Reynolds part – Kathy Selden – but I’m not 18 anymore,” laughs the stunning 38-year-old.
“Sometimes Lina is played the compete villain but I want people to love her and feel empathy for her.
“Circumstances of the time meant Lina’s career would fail and she is trying to hold on to everything she knows and loves. I really wanted to be part of a beautiful production and wanted to put my own stamp on Lina.”
Although Faye is known for being able to hold a tune, she doesn’t get to show off her mellifluous tones in Singing in the Rain.
Because of her character’s jarring voice, Faye is dubbed throughout by Amy Ellen Richardson.
“It’s a real challenge for me to be singing out of tune,” says Faye.
“Apart from the very end, where I can belt out a tune to my heart’s content.”
Singin’ in the Rain will play the Theatre Royal, in Nottingham, from Tuesday, February 4 until Saturday, February 15. Tickets are available by calling 0115 989 5555 or logging on to www.trch.co.uk
For more information visit www.singinintherain.co.uk