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The cast of The Band (Photo: Matt Crockett)

The cast of The Band (Photo: Matt Crockett)

9 things you need to know about the Take That musical, The Band

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements First Published 19 March 2018, Last Updated 23 November 2018

All Take That fans have been doing each night is pray. And now, all the patience has paid off because – get ready for it – the Take That musical The Band is on its way to London.

It was announced last week that the jukebox musical will open its doors later this year. Which means you probably have some burning questions. And babe, we’re here again to tell you all you need to know about it. Here are nine things you need to know about The Band.

What is The Band about?

So, technically it’s not about the fab five: Gary, Robbie, Mark, Howard and Jason. But, it is packed to the gills with Take That songs and have a band that looks (ish), sounds and dresses quite a lot like Take That. Not only does it not focus on Take That proper, surprisingly, the story doesn’t focus on the boy band, but its fans instead.

Set in Manchester in 1992, The Band follows five teenage girls who bond over their number one love: “the band”. The girls who were once inseparable reunite after 25 years apart, with the aim to achieve their life-long dreams -of meeting the boyband that brought them together.

Tim Firth and Gary Barlow

Tim Firth and Gary Barlow

Who wrote The Band?

Many of Take That’s back catalogue has been used and adapted for the musical. But stage and musical legend Tim Firth – who co-wrote The Girls with Gary Barlow – has written the book. It’s also been produced by Robbie Williams, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, and David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers.

Which Take That songs are in The Band?

It wouldn’t be a Take That musical without Take That’s biggest hits. Expect to hear Never Forget, Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine, Rule The World, Pray, and more.

However, purists should be aware that some of the legendary pop anthems have been adapted to create ballads or duets to fit the story better. We’re sure you love them, and you’ll have orchestrator Steve Parry to thank for the magical arrangements.

The cast of The Band (Photo: Matt Crockett)

(Photo: Matt Crockett)

Who’s in The Band?

Last year, Gary Barlow and a crack team of talent spotters went on the hunt for five talented singers and dancers on BBC’s Let It Shine. The winners – AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Sario Soloman and Yazdan Qafouri, a.k.a. Five to Five – now form the titular group The Band.

Playing the four band-obsessed friends are Alison Fitzjohn (Claire), Emily Joyce (Heather), Rachel Lumberg (Rachel) and Jayne McKenna (Zoe). Playing the teenage versions of the characters are: Faye Christall (Rachel), Katy Clayton (Heather), Rachelle Diedricks (Debbie), Sarah Kate Howarth (Claire), and Lauren Jacobs (Zoe).

Who were the judges on Let It Shine?

Joining Gary Barlow was Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp, with guest judges Amber Riley, Lulu, Ricki Lake, Ashley Roberts, and Peter Kay. It was hosted by Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc.

What are people saying about The Band?

During its tour, The Band has received glowing reviews. Gay Times gave The Band a shining five stars, and The Guardian awarded it four stars calling it “a warmly articulated, exciting and funny celebration of what it is to be a music fan.” And The Stage called it a “witty and affectionate Take That musical.”

Rachel Lumberg (Rachel) with Five To Five (The Band) in The Band (Photo: Matt Crockett)

(Photo: Matt Crockett)

Where will The Band play?

The Band is currently on tour, but when it comes to London, it will play at Theatre Royal, Haymarket. However, it’s an extremely limited run. You’ll be able to see it in the West End from Saturday 1 December until Saturday 12 January 2019.

If you can’t make the Theatre Royal, Haymarket shows, The Band is touring the UK into March 2019. You can see it in other major cities including Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Nottingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Salford. And after that, who knows? Maybe it’ll come Back For Good.

The cast of The Band (Photo: Matt Crockett)

(Photo: Matt Crockett)

Why should I see The Band?

If you were a 90s kid or you’re falling into the 90s nostalgia that’s happening right now, then how could you not? It’ll be like see a Take That show in their heyday. Plus, with that soundtrack, it’ll be a night you’ll never forget.



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