Mica’s all shook up over new stage role

British soul star Mica Paris
British soul star Mica Paris
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Elvis fans will be able to fall in love again with the king’s greatest hits in a musical making its UK debut.

Love Me Tender is the new musical inspired by the hits of Elvis Presley, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and set in a 1950s bar.

UK soul singer Mica Paris is making a return to the stage as bar owner Sylvia in the show at Manchester’s Palace Theatre and she’s loving it.

“The town is a bit on the down side, and a guy arrives who looks a bit like Elvis, then everyone starts to fall in love,” she said. “It’s a real feel good, up beat comedy show.

“Usually with musicals I’m a bit ‘meh’ as they’ve not always got a good story, but in this it’s really strong and that’s what makes it different - as well as a great cast.”

Flattery will get you everywhere too, as Mica - known also as TV presenter on What Not To Wear and judging Gok Wan’s Miss Naked Beauty - is especially pleased that her character’s age is actually 32, compared with her own 46.

“I love that,” she laughs. “Sylvia is me, with an American accent so it’s not hard to do. She’s feisty, tells it like it is and a strong pillar of the community, and she finds love too - everyone finds love.

“Hearing myself sing Elvis was a great thing too. He was inspired by gospel which is what I came from.”

Since launching on to the UK music scene in 1988, Mica’s had world-wide hit singles, and collaborated with and been a guest vocalist for the likes of Prince, Dionne Warwick and Jools Holland.

Her previous stage performances have included West End productions of Mama I Want To Sing, The Vagina Monologues and Sweet Lorraine, as well as a sell-out run at Ronnie Scott’s Club.

As well as music, love and flattery, there’s also the romantic nostalgia of to the 1950s, which transcends the ages appealing to those who lived it as well as those who look back for the fashions.

“Women were real belles then, they dressed like their lives depended on it,” Mica added.

Also in Love Me Tender are ex-EastEnder Shaun Williamson - aka Barry Evans, and Sian Reeves, best known from BBC Drama Cutting It.

n Love Me Tender, Palace Theatre, Manchester, until Saturday. Call 0844 871 3018 for tickets.