Antony Costa Interview
Q: Tell me how you got involved with the show and what was it about the part that attracted you to it?
I got involved with the show because I really loved the music and the script. With being involved in the music industry for so long I must admit I get drawn to musicals for the songs and hits included, great music really can make a show…
Not only is it a great jukebox feel-good show it’s got a great story-line running through it. I feel this is vital for a show like this to captivate the audience and make the best production possible for the cast to perform, shows like this for me is what the best musicals are about.
You’ve worked with Bill Kenwright before in Blood Brothers in the West End – is it nice to be back working for him again?
It’s great to be back with Bill and the team. We went for the read-through with Bill and he was so complimentary about myself which was a nice boost. Sometimes you need that in this business. It’s nice to get a pat on the back and know that you are doing a good job, especially when it can be such a hard industry. It’s also great to be working with people that you have a strong working relationship with already, it makes the process easy and smooth for the both of us.
“I do love wearing the uniform”
For those who aren’t familiar with this show, can you give us a brief overview of what to expect?
Like always, Bill has produced and directed a great musical. Audiences should expect captivating music from the early 60s, with all of the rock’n’roll classics featured throughout. As well as the great music, audiences will fall in love with the story set by the seaside, just like I did. This is a feel-good musical, and one to remember and tell all of your friends and family about.
Q: Have you got a favourite song from the show?
I love them all, I would listen to these songs as a kid. I like ‘Here I Go Again’ by The Hollies, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ because I’m a massive Elvis fan and I also like ‘1-2-3’ by Len Barry; it’s a great song. But listening to these songs is nothing like performing with the live band, that just lifts your mood. They’re so great and there’s the opportunity to make them your own.
That’s what I truly think is great about the show, I love every single rehearsal, and just can’t wait for the live shows to get underway, It’ll be a pleasure to be performing each night.
We get to see you in a uniform in this show – if you were to choose one of the armed forces to work for, which one do you think you’d be most suited to?
That’s a great question. I do love wearing the uniform in the show! If I were to choose one of the armed forces to work for it would have to be the air force. I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a Tom Cruise in Top Gun!
“Doing my own thing”
People will know you best from Blue – will you continue to do more music in the future?
Me and the boys are very much never say never. We’ve been going for 15 years. This is our 15th anniversary and it’s a bit weird because we’re not together this year, but we’ll always be about. The other lads are all busy doing different things. We seem to all like a busy lifestyle as we’re all used to crazy work schedules, it’s what we all love.
At the moment Duncan is doing Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Simon has done West End in the past and he’s doing a new album, and Lee is writing. For me, I’m enjoying doing my own thing and putting a stamp on myself, being part of Save the Last Dance for Me has really helped me do this.
“Two industries overlap””
Q: You mentioned Duncan in Priscilla, Simon was also in Sister Act in the West End, you also played Mickey Johnstone in Blood Brothers. Do you think theatre is a natural progression from the music industry?
Anthony Costa: When I first started, I would always do musical theatre and plays in school, but I owe a lot to Bill Kenwright. The reason being, when the band split in 2005, I didn’t know what to do. The part of Mickey Johnstone came up, and from a young age I had loved the show Blood Brothers, I in fact studied it for GCSEs.
I didn’t think I had a cat in hell’s chance of getting the part. But here I am making a new career out of it and believe the West End is right for me. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a natural progression from the music industry. It just isn’t for some people. But I would definitely say that the two industries overlap somewhat. Me and the boys from Blue happen to be the kind to discover the wonders of performing in the West End.
“A great time performing”
Do you think a Blue musical could ever be on the cards and what would the title song be?
Who knows! It would have to be ‘All Rise’, wouldn’t it? Set in a courtroom or something!
Your fans are very loyal – what’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you?
I get fans that will stand outside all day, and if I see them we’ll have a chat and I’ll get them a cup of tea. They are the ones that put us on the map and I can’t help but thank them for helping us become what we are. No one has really done anything really crazy to be honest, they’re just all lovely.
Q: You’ve toured extensively – how do you find being on the road? Is it hard being away from your family?
It’s very hard being away from family and friends. I’ve done this since I was 18 so I know no different. I’m very much looking forward to being part of the Save the Last Dance for Me tour. I’m excited that we will be touring up and down the country. Touring comes naturally to me and I’m excited to be spending time with the cast and just having a great time performing. More importantly, after years of touring, I’m still visiting places I have never been to before, like Truro.
“I’ve got all the moves”
What are the main differences in doing a concert tour and a theatre tour?
With a theatre tour you’re travelling on your own. When you’re in a band, you’re on the tour bus, you and the boys are always together. You’re watching DVDs and having banter. This is a huge difference between the two types of touring.
I loved being with the boys and having that type of touring lifestyle. It really worked for us as a group. Now when I’m doing more travelling alone I do get more time to myself. This isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s just a really different vibe.
Q: In keeping with the title song, what party piece dance move would you pull out at the end of a night out?
Great question. I’d probably do some Greek dancing.
Q: Smashing plates?
A bit of plate smashing, a bit of flying kicks in the air. I’ve got all the moves!
Retro is really in right now. What is it about the 1960’s era that people seem to like so much?
This music will always live on… Listen to Heart, BBC Radio 2, Magic all day, they will play one or more of these songs. That’s because it’s great writing. This music will always live on, and that’s the way it should be!
You’ve been in the industry a long while now, and there have been some big shifts. What are the changes you like, and ones you’re not so fond of?
It is very much social media driven. You can get a guy or a girl on YouTube with 50 million hits and they’ll have a number one a week later. Yes, it’s great for them and it gives everyone a great platform. But I am a firm believer in learning the hard way. When me and the boys got together in 2000, we were doing clubs and universities up and down the country. We were getting boos, we were getting cheers. It does make you appreciate when all the hard work is done and your song is played on the radio, or it’s in the chart, or you’re on Top of the Pops.
It’s a shame there are no music shows anymore to promote. That is my biggest disadvantage. Me and the boys have found it really hard to come back into this business. After being away for five or six years, it has changed. It’s moved so quickly. It’s a shame, because the 1Ds or JLSs of this world, they never had these shows. For us, that was precious growing up. You would see all the bands, S Club 7, Westlife, Boyzone. The amount of banter we used to have, the laughs and the jokes, you can’t buy those memories.
Save the Last Dance for Me is now touring the UK and plays at Leeds Grand Theatre, 13-18 June.