‘I’m really excited to be playing Tommy’

Joe McElderry as Tommy and Antony Costa as Cousin Kevin rehearsing around the piano for their stint in Tommy at Blackpool Opera House.
Joe McElderry as Tommy and Antony Costa as Cousin Kevin rehearsing around the piano for their stint in Tommy at Blackpool Opera House.
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No pressure then, for Joe McElderry and Antony Costa, as they take to the stage this weekend, to star in Tommy at the Opera House.

The pair are under the direction of Paul Nicholas, who appeared in the original film of the same name.

The classic rock opera, penned by The Who, tells the tale of a ‘deaf, dumb and blind kid [who] sure plays a mean pinball’.

X Factor winner Joe returns to Blackpool in the title role, while Blue singer 
Antony Costa plays Cousin Kevin, the bad guy role originated by Nicholas in the 1975 film.

So securing the role was an extra challenge, in front of the new production’s director.

“I just went for the audition,” he said. “My manager phoned and said they were interested.

“Back in the day I trained in musical theatre and I have been a fan of the music - you have to know your trade.

“I love songs like Pinball Wizard, and See Me, Feel Me, and Paul Nicholas liked 
what he saw in my audition - and I’m playing the role he had in the film.

“I did watch the film [before the audition], but didn’t want to be doing an impression of Paul, I wanted to put my own slant on.”

And Joe recreates the title role, which he played 
back in 2012 in a one-off concert.

“I am really excited to be playing Tommy,” he said. “The one-off I did was more of a concert but this is the full show, so there’s a lot more acting involved and it’s a real challenge.

“Tommy’s deaf, dumb and blind so he doesn’t react to anything that’s going on 
around him, and it’s quite hard not to look when people are singing and dancing around you.

“It’s something really different to what people would expect me to do. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”

* Tommy is at the Opera House from Saturday, until Saturday, September 26. Visit www.wintergardens.co.uk or call (01253) 629666 for tickets.