RICHARD SHELTON PERFORMING
SINATRA AND ME
Frankensteins Pub 5th-14th August
What was the inspiration for this performance?
I have a life long connection - what some may call a spiritual connection to Frank Sinatra, which can’t be ignored or avoided. The synchronicity between us keeps coming and coming - and coming. For example, Frank Sinatra’s tuxedo literally walked into my life and only last week, I was in a very intimate setting watching AJ Lambert (Sinatra’s grand daughter) sing and sitting opposite me were Nancy Sinatra Sr. aged 99 and Nancy Sinatra Jr. who’s birthday it was. All by co-incidence.
How did you go about gathering the team for it?
I know Mike Leigh who runs the venue from my last show at the Fringe in 2011 called iCroon. Earlier this year, I spent a day thinking how I’d like to return to the Fringe and the very next day he called me, asking if I’d be interested in his venue. Sarah and I meet through Sally from Hob Publicity - and the rest is all me!
How did you become interested in making performance?
It’s in my blood. It chose me, not the other way around.
Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
This show is a departure from my usual performance because it’s about what links Frank Sinatra and me together in real life, as opposed to interpreting or ‘acting’ him in a drama. The music is has been selected to present the him at his best singing wise but it’s acting Frank Sinatra which really interests me - capturing the complexities of his character and many varied moods which inform the music. That’s all in this show.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Surprise, delight, seeing what makes a show business icon tick and enjoying the timeless music which is selected with a purpose.
What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
Only telling the truth - telling it as it is and keeping it all very simple.
Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
I work across the spectrum - movies, jazz, recording and cabaret. As an actor I've portrayed villains, murderers, charming aristocrats and Frank Sinatra. As a singer, I’ve performed for Royalty, with the BBC and in great halls and Ronnie Scotts. You might say my tradition is the very old fashioned, working across all genres of show business, not being restricted in one arena - much like Frank Sinatra!
Shelton who hails from Wolverhampton started his acting career off in the UK and became quite a household name with a long running role in the soap Emmerdale as the evil Doctor Adam Forsyth and numerous other TV and film appearances.
However it his fascination with Frank Sinatra, which started as a young boy lead him on an extraordinary journey of coincidences and synchronicities with the late legend. Shelton could be described as the living embodiment of Frank Sinatra, with his uncanny resemblance and voice which has taken him to London’s West End stage with an award winning performance as Sinatra in ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ and invitations to perform privately Prince Charles and Elton John. He is now LA based and takes his new show to Edinburgh where he will sing some of Sinatra’s best loved songs as he reveals to audiences tales of how he came to own Sinatra own tuxedo (verified by Roger Moore) which fits him perfectly as he and Sinatra share the same body measurements and have the same size hands and feet as he discovered when they fitted into the moulds Sinatra made on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He has a long and respected association with Sinatra estate and was afforded the opportunity to record his studio album ‘An English Man in New York’ at Capitol Studios with Franks Band and microphone. He was also one of the last people to visit Franks house in LA before it was demolished! There is an opportunity to see Shelton perform in London in July ahead of his Edinburgh run.