A1 singer set for magical adventure
WHILE children are known to scream in excitement on seeing Justin Fletcher, one of the stars of this year’s pantomime at the New Victoria Theatre, another cast member might remind older audience members of the days when they reacted in the same way. Ben Adams, who shot to fame with the boyband A1, is playing title role in Aladdin, which is presented at the Woking venue over Christmas and until Saturday January 10. The band won a Brit Award in 2001 and a few mothers attending the show might have had a soft spot for Adams, who topped a Smash Hits magazine poll that year for being the ‘most fanciable male’ in pop music.
After splitting the following year, the band re-formed in 2009 and has appeared in reunion concerts at some of Britain’s biggest music venues. Adams has also been busy writing songs and producing for other artists include X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke and American Robin Thicke. He was a contestant in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2009 and also appeared in his first pantomime that year, playing Prince Charming in a Milton Keynes production of Cinderella. Before the start of Aladdin’s month-long stint in Woking, Adams was excited – both about the show and the approach of the festive season. “Christmas is my favourite time of the year,” the 33-year-old said. “Pantomime is very different from anything else I’ve done. And Aladdin is one of my favourites. I don’t have a flying carpet but I wish I did and I can appreciate the rags-to-riches story. It’s going to be fun.” Although he had not previously performed at the New Victoria Theatre, Adams went there to see Bobby Davro’s Gala Spectacular fundraiser for Woking Hospice and he was impressed by what he saw.
“It’s a great theatre, quite big,” the Londoner said. “I was hoping to do a pantomime near home, and my mum lives in Esher. I do my Christmas shopping in Woking and Guildford most years.” So shoppers might catch a glimpse of Adams in TK Maxx, a shop he has been known to visit but to see him as Aladdin with children’s TV star Fletcher (Mr Tumble), Coronation Street’s Steven Arnold and other big names from the world of showbusiness, head to the New Victoria.
Ben Adams with Justin Fletcher and Jason Sutton.