Glee inspired show arrives

Reality show pop stars pool their talents in a band put together especially for a new Glee-inspired show, touring with dates in Crawley, Worthing and Guildford.

G*MANIA comes promised as a “high-octane, high-on-life production that showcases brilliant arrangements and jaw-dropping choreography” featuring music including Don’t Stop Believin’ and Gold Digger plus mash-ups inspired by the hit TV show Glee.

The boys include Rikki Loney, who auditioned for X Factor in 2009 and made it all the way to the final ten; 18-year-old Britain’s Got Talent finalist Shaun Smith,; and Andy Scott Lee who appeared in the second series of Pop Idol and enjoyed chart success with his brothers in the band 3SL.

“The concept is basically to create a super group from reality shows,” Andy says. “When I was approached, I just wanted to do it. I think Glee appeals to so many different people, from the young kids to teenagers and through to the older people.

“It also plays very well to the gay community. They just love up-beat poppy music and also the camp outfits.”

For Andy, Pop Idol came along after the boy band days: “I had been signed to Sony before that and we had had a few hits. It was a fantastic time being signed to Sony. At the time, Michael Jackson was signed to them. It was the biggest label in the world.

“But everything comes to an end at some point, and I just needed a new challenge, and that was Pop Idol. I got a lot out of it. That was 2003 and this is 2011. I have been gigging ever since.”

In some ways, having the experience counted against him on Pop Idol. One of the tabloids launched a campaign against him for not being a newcomer, and the next week he was voted off: “I could understand it. But if you fail first time around, you don’t just give up. The band can take some of the blame, but ultimately it’s down to the record label. They chose the singles and it is all about timing. You are signed to a huge label like Sony, and they demand results. They want top five.”

Now the music is back in proportion for Andy, for whom the current show is a second income, to his business interests in property with his brother.

“And since Pop Idol, I have been doing my own gigs.”

The show plays Crawley’s Hawth Theatre on Tuesday, March 29; Worthing’s Assembly Hall, on Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13; and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, from Thursday, April 14-Saturday, April 16.