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Q&A with Take That on their upcoming musical, The Band

Vicky Edwards was lucky enough to catch up with the Take That boys on their new musical The Band. A musical on friendship, and written by award-winning writer Tim Firth, see what the boys had to say on being a part of the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time.

Q: The Band tells the story of a group of 16 year-old friends for whom in 1992, 'the band' - a non-specified five-strong group - is everything.  25 years on, the women reunite in a quest to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. How does Take That feature in the show?

Howard: It uses our songs as the story's soundtrack, but it isn't about us. Guys might be sceptical about coming to see the show but it IS relative to them too. Whether they like the music or not, they will thoroughly enjoy it.

Q: The show is NOT about Take That. It uses your music as a soundtrack to an original story about a group of 16 year-old friends and a non-specified pop group and how, 25 years on, the girls reunite and try to meet their heroes. Why is the show so successful, do you think?

Gary: I think that friendship really resonates with people. Even the idea of the friendship - if you sat us down then we'd all say that friendship is what is at the heart of Take That. It has kept our work strong; we've been a gang. The Band is about the relationships really, not the music. You don't need to be an avid fan, but Tim [Firth - writer] has so cleverly woven our music into a parallel universe. Whenever I see it I leave happy.

Q: What's next for The Band?

Gary: We have plans because The Band is a musical that we believe in so much. We're by no means high-fiving yet, but by no means have we reached our goal either. We won't be happy until this show is on Broadway.

Q: An enduring pop career and now producing a super-successful stage musical, did you ever dream that this would be the way life would turn out?

Howard: I never envisaged being a pop star let alone a producer - I was on a YTS training scheme to be a vehicle painter and panel beater when I joined Take That! But luckily we had the right people behind us. The lads [of The Band] are really down to earth, which is how we [Take That] formed our friendship and how we grew up as a group and can now regroup.

Q: Who or what was in the posters on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

Mark: I was quite into football so Pelé, Maradona and Liverpool players were my pin-ups. Music wise it was Madonna and Elvis. I loved Elvis and grew up listening to him because mum was a big fan. I used to put lard in my hair and sing Elvis songs. Mum went mad with me!

The Band runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from 5 - 9 March 2019.

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