Tommy Steele is starring at The Lyceum
The 1950s star credited with bringing rock music to Britain, 1960s Hollywood musicals leading man, veteran actor, singer and sculptor is appearing at the Lyceum in The Glenn Miller Story.
Still very much the Cockney cheeky charmer, Tommy said: “I remember coming to Sheffield in 1956, when it was called Steel Town. I can’t tell you how many times they used that in headlines!
“That’s when I was in Tommy Steele and the Steelmen. Everyone used to say, ‘You’re spelling it wrong’!
“I’ve only been to Sheffield twice in 60 years. I’ve been to lots of places around it but not actually into Sheffield. This is my first time back for quite a while.”
That first visit was in November 1956 in his Rock with the Caveman days, when Tommy Steele and his Steelmen topped the bill at the Empire Theatre. And Tommy starred in Doctor Dolittle at the Lyceum in 2008.
He is thrilled to be appearing in The Glenn Miller Story, telling the tale of the US big band leader who died when his plane vanished over the English Channel as he flew to Paris to entertain troops during World War II.
Tommy said: “It’s wonderful. I was first attracted to it because of the score, the great songs that could be converted into dances.
“When you put the drama into the musical it really works. I’ve found over the years really and truly if you don’t have the right story to go with the score, it’s connected not quite right.”
The show boasts a 16-piece orchestra to reproduce the Glenn Miller sound with songs like Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pennsylvania 6-5000 and In The Mood.
Tommy readily admits that at 78 he is too old to play a man who was only 40 when he died in 1944. He said: “The way the show is set up, I come on to the stage as me and say to the audience I’ve come to tell the story.
“I say I’m going to tell you the story of this icon of popular music and that this is the place where he left from on his last journey. As I start to talk, the music starts to play. The people take off their outer clothes and all of a sudden it’s an airport in 1944.
“Merely putting on my glasses and revealing I’m in uniform under my coat, I become Glenn Miller.”
The Glenn Miller Story is at the Lyceum from August 16-20. Box office:call 0114 249 6000 or visit Sheffield Theatres