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Anthony Kavanagh On...G*MANIA

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G*MANIA is currently touring the UK. One in a long line of shows, inspired by the hit US TV phenomenon Glee, this concert features many former reality television stars, including Andy Scott Lee, Shaun Smith, Aaron Bayley and Manchester's very own Anthony Kavanagh who featured in Grease Is The Word. Anthony has had a long string of success spanning over a decade. With two full length albums under his belt, "Kavana" (1997) and "Instinct" (1999), and a number of chart topping hits including "Crazy Chance", and his hit debut single, "I Can Make You Feel Good."

He also starred in MTVs US soap opera Undressed when he lived in LA. In 2006 Anthony turned his hand to acting, starring in E4's Hollyoaks: In the City and in 2007 reappeared as a contestant on ITV's Grease Is The Word, and he became a runner up.

The hit show Glee which G*MANIA is inspired by is a huge success in the UK. Why do you think this is?

I think Glee has caught on mainly because there is no show around like it. It's such a feel-good show and deals with many issues that kids today are affected by and uses the medium of music and songs we all know to make a point. Also, the song choices for the mash ups are genius!

Tell us a bit more about the show?
Although G*MANIA is obviously inspired by Glee and uses the songs from the TV show it's kind of taken on a life of its own. Since rehearsals have started we have one of the top pop directors David Wood on board and the music production by Simon Henderson is really slick. Obviously we have all been on some kind of talent show whether
it be Pop Idol, X Factor, Grease is the Word etc but bringing us all together and doing a British take on the Glee idea I think was a great concept by our producers. And on top of that it's a great night out for the audience

What are your favourite songs in the show and why?
3 I would say my personal songs/ moments in the show would be the Bon Jovi medley mainly because I get to rock out which isn't normally my forte! And also I think when Trevor Francis of Last Choir Standing sings the Alicia Keys track Empire State of Mind with Andy Scott Lee is pretty amazing ..saying that, the Queen / Vanilla ice mash up is pretty cool too!

Theatre continues to pack 'em in, even in this current recession. Why do you think this is?
I think the great thing about live theatre is the escapism it gives, especially in today's climate. Once the audience gets into the auditorium and the lights go down you are totally there in that moment, and the same for us as the cast though I'm sure there'll be some pre-show nerves kicking in too, but that's showbiz, as they say.

Do you look back on Grease Is The Word? How did it help your career?
I think doing Grease was one of the best decisions I've made, to be honest. At the time I had been living in LA and had decided to come back thinking I would walk straight into a record deal. Little did I know how much the industry had changed with downloads, independent labels, etc. I guess I had nothing to lose, it was a fast track way of getting me in shape and back in the public eye. Although I did see first hand how these shows can be manipulated and it certainly
isn't all about the public vote! That's why a show like G*MANIA is cool, because it gives those guys that maybe didn't win or come second a chance to really shine.

Anthony Kavanagh was speaking to Glenn Meads.

G*MANIA is at the Liverpool Philharmonic on 6 February followed by the Palace Theatre from 15 - 16th February.


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