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Back for Good: Tribute act relive the journey of Take That

IF you cried when Take That split up and cried again when they reformed, then the Edinburgh Playhouse on Monday is the place to be when Back For Good checks in for one night only.

It was in Manchester in 1990 that band manager Nigel Martin-Smith formed what would become the most successful boyband of all time.

From back when all they wanted to do was Take That and Party to more recent times when it was their time to Shine once again, Take That changed the face of pop.

Originally consisting of five members – Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – they sold 19 million records between 1991 and 1996 as they dominated the charts with their dance-orientated pop tunes and soulful ballads – then Williams left.

Back For Good recreates the magic of Take That (post Robbie) but also gives fans a chance to re-live old favourites such as Relight My Fire, Never Forget, Greatest Day, It Only Takes A Minute Girl, Everything Changes and Shine, as well as Babe, Patience, Said It All, Love Ain't Here Anymore and A Million Love Songs.

Bringing 'the greatest boy band of all time' to life onstage are the members of tribute act Take That 2 – Daniel Paul Maines, 27, is Barlow, Daniel John Claxton, 26, and Joe Currey, 18, are Donald and Orange, and 18-year-old Matthew Hall is Mark Owen.

Hall, a familiar face to TV viewers thanks to roles in Emmerdale, A Touch Of Frost and My Parents Are Aliens, says, "I am a massive Robbie Williams fan, really, however, I did always enjoy Take That's hits without being what you'd call a fan.

"It was funny, literally a few months before getting this job I was listening to my mum's Take That Greatest Hits album, thinking how great the songs were and how many of them I was surprised I actually knew, so maybe I was a fan all along and just didn't realise it. Since this job though, and their two recent brilliant albums, I have become a huge fan."

Hall, whose also played the young arsonist Sam Myerson in The Royal, Rufus Ingram in Unforgiven and Scott Mackay in Heartbeat, admits, however, that playing a real life character who is still alive and well brings new challenges.

"Mark still being very much in the public eye has its pros and cons. It's great that I can turn on the telly and see an interview with him or go buy their latest tour DVD and study his every mannerism, but that also restricts you.

"Being from an acting background, it's nice to have your own interpretation of what you're doing, especially when you're on stage in front of a few thousand people – part of you really just wants to burst out and be yourself.

"So, as Take That are everywhere, there's only one way you can do things – exactly as they would. There's a lot of pressure to get things right because some of the people who see our shows are massive Mark Owen fans and may have just got back from seeing the real one in concert, so they have high expectations."

So does Back For Good meet those high expectations?

"We've just had our opening night and the reaction was unlike anything any of us could have imagined," says Hall. "To see not just women, but families and young couples where the men were having just as much fun as their girlfriends was just amazing.

"I don't quite know how they feel about us. We do our best to be as similar to the boys as we can. One of the producers of the show, Stuart Littlewood, told us that after the second or third song you forget about that we are not the real Take That... we just become them. Which is great. So, we have our fingers crossed that Edinburgh enjoys us. We can't wait to perform there."

Back For Good, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Monday, 7.30pm, 21, 0844-847 1660

 
 
 

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