Sheffield stage star Noel happy to be a Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

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Former pop star Noel Sullivan has carved out a new role for himself as a star of stage musicals and he is coming to Sheffield later this month.

The singer and actor shot to TV fame in 2001 with the pop act Hear’Say, created on the ITV reality show, Popstars.

Michael Praed as Lawrence and Noel Sullivan as Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Photo by Alastair Muir

Michael Praed as Lawrence and Noel Sullivan as Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Photo by Alastair Muir

He is starring in a touring version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a musical adaptation of the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

Noel plays Freddie Benton, who he describes as “a little bit of a hand-to-mouth conman, who rolls up to the French Riviera, where he meets an old, suave sophisticated conman, Lawrence (played by Michael Praed), and they become friends.”

The plot will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie. Basically, the duo become rivals in conning the rich out of their wealth and realise the town ain’t big enough for the both of them, so they strike a deal to make a wager to decide who goes and who stays.

Each must try to win the hand of soap heiress Christine Colgate. However, the lady has a few tricks of her own…

Noel said: “It’s an old-school musical with a modern flavour that crosses the generations with its humour.”

Noel said that he has worked before in musicals that were adapted from films and says this one is a great success: “People are rolling in the aisles, which is great for me as this is a bit of a departure.

“In most of the roles I’m mainly singing, such as in Rock of Ages last year in Sheffield.This is more of a comedy role.”

Obviously he has no experience of being a conman to fall back on but “I am an actor so I am a conman in some respects! I suppose we’re all conmen, really.

“We pretend to be someone we’re not, so it’s not a million miles away from what we’re doing for a living.”

He has had plenty of support from the experienced actors in the cast but they can’t resist trying to make each other ‘corpse’, the acting term for laughing on stage.

“It’s been so much fun with so many little corpsing moments. They’re trying hard to make me laugh at every available opportunity.”

The Welshman is adamant that he’s moved away from the pop world and Hear’Say definitely aren’t going to reunite.

“Not for all the tea in China! I’m not interested. It’s taken 13 years to get to where I’m at now.

“It’s not like we were lifelong buddies, the band were clearly manufactured. It wouldn’t work.

“And it’s not like we were Take That who had hundreds of hits.”

Noel said he doesn’t have time to keep in touch with other band members, although he was fascinated to see that Myleene Klass “is barbecuing for a living. Happy days!”

He has recorded an album of hits from the shows that he has appeared in over the past 10 years that is on sale at the shows on the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tour.

The show is at the Lyceum on August 25 to 29. Box office: 0114 249 6000 or online at Sheffield Theatres