The Spice Girls’ Viva Forever! soon won’t be the only musical taking book inspiration from the world of reality TV. The Golden Voice, which follows the fortunes of another fame-hungry singer who finds fame on a TV talent show, will premiere this summer at the West End’s Arts Theatre, where it will have a limited season from 19 June to 31 August (previews from 12 June).
Written by British singer-songwriter Nick Fogarty and directed by Guy Retallack, The Golden Voice centres on Mike Chariot, who betrays his best friend and abandons his childhood sweetheart to win the nation’s favourite talent show The Golden Voice. Afterwards, however, he quickly realises he’s merely a puppet for the record company and television executives. Too famous to return to his old life, he decides to disappear. After a brief media frenzy, the machine moves on and he is all but forgotten.
Almost 20 years on, a wiser Mike Chariot is back to make amends and help young singers and musicians achieve their dreams without having to enter television talent shows. However, his noble quest brings him back in contact with his former best friend Jim Ryan, who descended into a life of crime after Chariot’s departure from their band caused it to break up.
Nick Fogarty - who has penned the music and lyrics as well as book for The Golden Voice, writes from personal experience. He signed his first record deal with his band Academy to RCA London, when he was just 21. Four singles were released from the band’s eponymous album. He left the band four years later to live and work in Los Angeles for 18 months, before moving to Germany in 1989 and signing with Warner Bros. He retired as an artist in 1991 and began writing and producing for some of the biggest-selling German artists including David Hasselhoff. He has amassed over 60 record releases as a writer and artist and, for the past 15 years, has been a vocal coach for musical theatre actors including Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award winner Leanne Jones (Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray).
Casting for The Golden Voice has not yet been announced. The production will be choreographed by Jordi Guitart, with orchestrations and musical arrangements by Martin Koch and Nick Gilpin, musical direction by Tom Turner, design by Jamie Turner, lighting by Richard Williamson and sound by Chris Full. The musical is produced by Abbey Investments Limited.