Singer/songwriter Steve Rushton is performing in the party show of the summer over at the O2 in MAMMA MIA! The Party. We got to speak to Steve about being transported to a Greek Island and the catchy tunes of ABBA!
Tell us a bit about the premise of MAMMA MIA! The Party?
It’s an immersive experience that takes place after the Mamma Mia! movie has finished filming on location in Greece, and the locals who own the taverna where the film was made cash in on the ABBA mania by selling tickets to an ABBA show at the end of their meal, but a real-time love story unfolds in front of the audience whilst they’re getting dined with a three-course meal before this ABBA show, which of course happens to fit nicely to ABBA tunes.
Is there a strong link between the original MAMMA MIA! stage production / films and MAMMA MIA! The Party?
No this is a standalone production. The only similarity is obviously the iconic outrageously catchy pop tunes of ABBA.
What do you think audiences might find surprising about MAMMA MIA! The Party?
How it makes you feel transported to an island in Greece and see the beach and the sky change from day to night. You do get lost in a really exciting journey with the cast.
Do you have opportunities to interact with the audience or improvise on the night?
The whole show!!! I can walk up to whatever table I want and speak to whoever I want. And in a lot of moments I have the freedom to show off and boogie in front of different tables every night!
Why do you think people should come along to see MAMMA MIA! The Party?
A three-course meal, a fantastic show, and iconic singalong ABBA tunes mixed in with feeling like you’re in Greece! Total escapism for 4 hours what’s not to like?
What has been your favourite role you have played generally and why?
Will in American Idiot! I’m a huge Green Day fan, and to play a lead in that show singing my favourite songs as well originating the guitar 2 track of the show was truly amazing!
How did you get into acting, and was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you?
Acting is very new to me! I never trained. When American Idiot came to London I made the production say yes to me, by hounding them with emails, self-tapes and persuading them to audition me. So American Idiot was HOW in 2015!
What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
To do my hobby as a job. I love singing and playing live music. And I get to do this every day! It’s always lovely to be applauded and see people’s happy faces right up close, as they are literally next to me in this show.
Who are your influences and inspirations?
Billie Joe (Green Day) and Elvis Presley (my step-dad is an Elvis impersonator and that’s how I got into music; he taught me my first chords on guitar and used to get me up on stage with him from the age of 8).
Is there a role you would love to play in a show?
Marty McFly in Back to the Future! WHAT A SHOW THAT IS!!! It’s my favourite movie franchise so seeing it on stage was incredible. Elder Price would be fun in Book of Mormon too!
Where can people follow your work on social media?
See Steve Rushton now in MAMMA MIA! The Party at The O2 Arena.