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Direct from a sell-out tour in Edinburgh, London, Palm Springs, New York and Los Angeles, ‘Sinatra and Me’ is heading to Eastwood Park Theatre.
Join Richard, ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ nominated actor for playing Sinatra, in a spellbinding evening of story telling, glorious Frank Sinatra music, a story about the incredible synchronicity linking their lives – and a glimpse at Frank’s very own tuxedo.
With a striking resemblance to Sinatra, Richard’s love of performing blossomed at a young age.
“It’s something that I have always been interested in,” Richard explained. “But it was something that for the most part sadly passed me by at the time.
“Aside from school plays, my first performance on a proper stage was at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre with the local dance school as a sort of acrobat Pierrot doll. From then on, I was hooked.
As a child, Richard came across a magazine which included a childhood photograph of Frank Sinatra.
He was immediately struck by the facial similarities.
The same face, same mouth, those same twinkling blue eyes brimming with ambition and curiosity. And so a lifelong relationship began.
“I was looking through one of my mum’s old magazines and I came across a photo of Frank Sinatra,” Richard said. “I said to my mum ‘who is this? He looks like me!’
“She told me that he was a singer called Frank Sinatra and ever since then, I’ve been a fan really.
“I was into swing music, jazz and big band and performed the American Song Book for about twenty years before I turned my attention to Sinatra.”
“When I was called to audition for Rat Pack Confidential, I’d been working the jazz circuit for years, performing Sinatra repertoire and standards, so the music was etched into my psyche and I had a solid basis to fall back on.
“But it was acting as the icon that was truly a challenge and one I adored.”
The similarities between the two are striking.
When Richard put his hands and feet into the impressions of Frank Sinatra’s on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, he discovered they were identical and were even made on Richard’s birthday.
They are the same height and share the same passion for swing music
Sinatra and Me looks behind the iconic blue eyes of Frank Sinatra whilst knocking you dead with his timeless hits.
Witness an unmissable moment as Shelton really gets Sinatra ‘Under My Skin’ as he dons Ol’ Blue Eyes very own tuxedo which literally walked into his life and sings the iconic‘My Way’.
“It’s a show about hope – about how short life is and how important it is to try for your dreams,” Richard said.
“The show looks at what inspired me and how it links my life with Frank Sinatra and the incredible synchronicity that links our lives.
“I was nominated ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for portraying Frank Sinatra in the hard hitting drama ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in London’s West End and my interest in him comes from an actor’s perspective – what makes him tick, how his mercurial personality made him the icon he was.
“And of course the wonderful music. During the show, I go deep behind Sinatra’s blue eyes and evoke what is might have been like to spend an hour with him. I also explain how Sinatra’s tuxedo literally walked into my life and how I was one of the last people inside his last home before it was demolished by fluke.”
“Audiences can expect story telling, music and little known facts about Sinatra,” Richard continued.
“I also perform songs from my new album ‘Lost and Found’ which was recorded at Capitol Studios in LA alongside Sinatra’s band mates and in his studio using his microphone.
“The album comprises original big band arrangements including ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ and ‘Sinatra and Me’ and jazz inspired arrangements of pop classics including, ‘It’s Not Unusual’ and ‘Oh, What a Night (Dec ’63)’ which I perform as a haunting ballad.”
Of all of Frank’s time-honoured hits – ‘My Way’ , ‘Strangers in the Night’ , ‘It’s Only A Paper Moon’ and ‘I get A Kick Out Of You’, Richard has a favourite...
“‘In The Wee Small Hours’,” he answered immediately. “It’s one of my favourite songs. The story goes that he had a photo of Ava Gardner in the studio with him, and he used to sing the song to her photo. I think that’s a lovely story and it suits the beautiful song.
“My job as an actor is to emulate the essence and evoke the spirit of Frank Sinatra. To make people feel that they’ve spent time with him,” Richard said . “To tell stories through song and move them, persuade them. The audience should walk away saying ‘I feel like I’ve just spent an evening with Frank Sinatra’. If they do that, then I have done my job.”
Catch Richard Shelton’s Sinatra and Me atEastwood Park Theatre on Sunday, September 2.
For tickets, visit the website www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 0141 577 4956.