Day originated the role of Don on stage five years ago. The actor's theatre career first took off in 1993 when, as understudy to Philip Scofield, he assumed the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the West End. Tours and limited West End seasons of other musicals followed, including Great Expectations, Copacabana, Grease and The Rocky Horror Show, as well as Summer Holiday.
Last year, millions of television viewers watched as Day locked horns with nine other celebrities - most heatedly, with 'It' girl Tara Palmer-Tompkinson - in the launch series of reality programme I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. In a change of gear, the actor is currently playing a serial rapist in William Mastrosimone's graphic stage play Extremities, which continues at north London's Old Red Lion pub theatre on 21 June (See News, 22 May 2003).
Billed as "the ultimate roadtrip musical" and inspired by the 1963 film that shot Cliff Richard to fame, Summer Holiday follows a group of friends on their frantic travels through France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. They're joined by pop starlet Bobby who, disguised as a boy, has run away from her showbiz lifestyle. The story is set to rock 'n' roll hits from the era including Do You Want Dance", "Bachelor Boy" and, of course, "Summer Holiday".
The production also features former Hear'Say pop star Suzanne Shaw (as Bobby), Christopher Biggins and Aimi MacDonald. The musical was adapted - and recently updated - for the stage by Mark Haddigan and Michael Gyngell, who also directs. The production is designed by Paul Farnsworth and choreographed by Gillian Gregory, with lighting by Chris Ellis, sound by Simon Whitehorn and musical supervision by Keith Strachan.
Now playing Stoke on Trent, Summer Holiday continues with its current cast - until 9 August 2003 - to Northampton, Manchester, Cardiff, Southend, High Wycombe, Nottingham, Bristol and Belfast. After reopening at Liverpool for a week from 18 August, the recast production visits Norwich (1-6 September) before a final three-week engagement (8-27 September) at the Blackpool Opera House, during the town's annual illuminations.
The tour is presented by Richard Temple and Bill Kenwright by arrangement with Canal Studios and the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
- by Terri Paddock