Meet the boys starring in Take That musical The Band
PUBLISHED: 08:44 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:44 09 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
They are the boys who rule the world when it comes to singing the songs of pop superstars Take That in the hit musical The Band.
Meet Five To Five - winners of BBC One talent show Let It Shine who are living the dream touring the country with the musical that has stopped off at Norwich Theatre Royal until February 17.
There’s AJ Bentley, who studied dance before winning his role in the show, classic car restorer Nick Carsberg, songwriter and rugby club owner Curtis T Johns, Sario Solomon who as a child made his West End debut in Oliver!, and Yazdan Qafouri, who has been performing since the the age of 10.
Together they provide the soundtrack to the lives of the girls who the musical is all about.
“We are the presence that follows any fan of music or fan of a band throughout their life,” explained Curtis about the role of the band in the show.
“We are the connection point between the story that is being told, between the different emotions in all the scenes.”
The Band is co-produced by Take That, and Gary, Mark and Howard have even appeared in some shows with the boys.
“I’m a big Take That fan and have been for years so to be singing their songs and to now be in a working relationship with Take That is beyond my wildest dreams,” said AJ.
Sario added: “I’m not going to lie, it’s really nerve-wracking. Take That do pop in. We had Jason Orange’s dad in recently.”
And Nick said: “When they (Take That) are there it’s terrifying, but they are so supportive and brilliant. I think they quite enjoy seeing someone else sing their songs.”
Five To Five said one of the most important things for them was ensuring Take That’s fans enjoyed their different versions of the songs, with Curtis adding it was the fans, and how they get really involved in the show, that was one of the most amazing aspects of The Band.
“We get a lot of people who love Take That and now enjoy what we do in the show and follow us all over,” he said.
“When the audience are reacting to the emotional scenes or the big concert scenes, that’s an amazing feeling for us to be on stage and watching people jumping up and getting out of their seats and enjoying the show.”
And what are their thoughts on Norwich audiences so far?
Reflecting on opening night, in which understudy Harry Fabulous Brown stood in for Yazdan, Nick said: “Opening night was amazing, it was a really good reaction. Quite often southern crowds can be quite reserved, me being a southerner myself I would know, but it was a bit of a shock actually, they were really rowdy compared to some of the other southern audiences we’ve had!”
However AJ said he thought the audience wasn’t quite as lively as those up north.
“You go up north and they are very loud, it’s just a different type of audience, I think Norwich were a bit more reserved - until the end!” he said.
The Band runs until February 17 - www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Five To Five’s favourite parts of the show
Sario: “I really enjoy doing The Flood, The Flood is a great one and it’s a really good concert number. I sing Robbie’s bit which is quite an honour.”
Curtis: “I really enjoy Never Forget and the scenes where there’s a story happening while the song is developing.”
AJ: “I think I enjoy doing the medley, it feels like it is our own gig and the audience seem to love that as well, so that’s always good fun.”
Nick: “I really enjoy Shine because there is a slight jokey aspect to it, like how we’re doing all our dance moves, It’s a really feelgood number and the audience always start clapping and they love it, it’s a really good end to the first act, I love it.”
Five To Five album on the way
As well as being stars of The Band, the members of Five To Five are also busy making their own music.
“We are in the writing and recording process at the moment,” said AJ.
“We’ve signed a three-year management deal with the hope of releasing a single and album this year with the help of Gary and Take That. Gary’s writing songs for us as well which is extremely exciting for us.
“As Curtis said, these Take That fans are now our fans supporting us around the tour and it’s about giving back to them I think, they are the people that voted for us on Let It Shine and gave us this opportunity. This is what Five To Five is away from singing Take That songs.”
When asked how he would describe Five To Five’s style of music, he said: “ Wait and see! We’ve got a really nice unique sound as Five to Five, slightly different but maybe with some similarities to Take That, but wait and see, I think the fans are going to be really pleased with what they hear.”