Natasha loves being in town to pay the Rent...

A scene from RENT, the musical coming to Blackpool's Opera House
A scene from RENT, the musical coming to Blackpool's Opera House
0
Have your say

It is fair to say Natasha Hamilton is rather looking forward to coming to Blackpool.

The Atomic Kitten singer will be in the resort next month when she stars in the musical Rent at the Opera House.

But it is far from the first time she has been in town.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited – it is a brilliant place,” said Hamilton, who was born an hour or so away in Liverpool.

“As a kid I’d stay with my dad and my grandparents in B&Bs and we’d go to see the Illuminations each year. I’ve got three kids of my own now and I take them to see the Lights too.

“I’m also looking forward to performing at the Opera House because when I was 16 and studying for a GCSE in dance, we came to see a dance company at the theatre. I remember their performance was set to songs by The Rolling Stones and it was brilliant.

“It is a beautiful venue and I have a real fondness for Blackpool as a whole – it will be good to come back.”

Hamilton is 31 but has achieved plenty since she was chosen in 1999 to replace Heidi Range in Atomic Kitten.

Since then the girl band have released 19 singles and three albums, the most successful the annoyingly catchy Whole Again.

She took a break from music to raise her children but is set to burst back onto the scene next year when she releases some solo material (Atomic Kitten are still going but only get together intermittently).

As for musical theatre, she got into that when she took over the role of Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers (which, ironically, is on at the Opera House all this week, starting tonight, with Maureen Nolan playing the Mrs Johnstone character).

Next comes Rent – 20th Anniversary Concert, to celebrate 20 years since the first showing of what is one of the most emotional and powerful musicals of all time.

It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive in New York under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

“You can imagine how controversial that was 20 years ago when it first started but it is a wonderful production, very thought-provoking,” said Hamilton.

“For me it is a show which takes you through a journey, it’s a story of love and loss and about how relationships evolve.

“There are comedy moments in it but by the end there probably won’t be a dry eye in the house.”

For Hamilton, being on a stage in a musical brings very different pressures to performing with Atomic Kitten.

“In a pop gig, everyone is singing along and screaming and that’s great,” she said. “But in the theatre, it is so much more intimate and completely silent. The audience can hear every note and every word and so you have to absolutely nail it, which is quite intimidating.

“But it’s nice to be able to do things like this. When Atomic Kitten first started there was no time for anything else. The schedule was gruelling and it was all about the band.

“But now I have more space to take on projects like this. My first priority though is my children – I am mum working to provide for her family.”

Rent - The 20th Anniversary Concert is in Blackpool for one-night only on Monday November 11 before it embarks on a month-long nationwide tour.

For ticket details go to www.blackpoollive.co.uk or call 0844 856 1111.