Monday, 3 July 2017

Sinatra and Dramaturgy Again: Richard Shelton @ Edfringe 2017

(Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards) AND CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ACTOR & SINGER

4-28 August

What happens to your dreams when you turn 50?

Already a household name on British TV, Richard Shelton turned 50 and decided to ‘up-sticks’, follow his heart and move to L.A., where he knew precisely no one to pursue a dream.  Call it serendipity or synchronicity, the events that unfurled all connected with his hero, Frank Sinatra, have been astonishing! Including recording his own album – ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ in Sinatra’s studio B at Capitol Records with Sinatra’s band mates.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I have a life long synchronicity with Frank Sinatra which keeps unfurling throughout my life. Having been nominated as ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for playing Sinatra in ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in the West End, I decided to move to LA and try my hand in music and acting there. I’ve had some incredible serendipity with Sinatra including his very own tuxedo walking into my life and being one of the last people inside Sinatra’s last home when it was being demolished. I’ve also recorded in his studio B at Capitol Studios with his band mates and at East West Studios, where he recorded ‘My Way’.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

I think performance can be so stimulating. It’s a great way of expressing ideas, bringing them to life, presenting them to an audience which then allows them to interpret what they’re seeing and ponder it. It’s circular.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I’ve always enjoyed performing. I enjoy being able to express the full range of emotions, happy and sad, playing dangerous and unpleasant characters as well as the more appealing within the context of performance. In music, I love being able to influence the mood of an audience. Sinatra was supreme at this and I’ve learned a lot from him.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

This is a combination of my story, my life and the synchronicity I share with an icon. I’ve been careful to select music which tells the story and bring moments of Sinatra’s complex character to life in tandem with my own.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I perform jazz. The title track to my swing album, ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ by the same name, is original and I also feature a new song by a British composer/lyricist called Martin Byatt called ‘Over Like the Roses’. There are pop classics in jazz as well as standards. I also act and had a 2-year run in Emmerdale on British TV and recently co-starred in ‘House of Lies’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ on American TV. I made a WW2 Japanese movie called ‘Joker Game’ and I was nominated as ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in the short British thriller, ‘Do not Disturb’, shot in LA, at the London and Chicago Horror Film Awards.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope they’ll be moved and enjoy a rare glimpse into Sinatra’s prowess and vulnerability. I bring Sinatra’s actual tuxedo with me and change into it to sing, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and ‘My Way’. It’s the closest thing you might get to spending an hour with Frank Sinatra.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

Honesty. My only strategy is to tell the truth.

Nominated as ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ (Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards) for playing Frank Sinatra in ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in London’s West End, Shelton returns to the fringe following last year’s sell-out with his show, ‘Sinatra and Me – Again,’ which looks behind the iconic blue eyes of - whilst knocking you dead with - Sinatra’s timeless repertoire, and charts the course of their extraordinary life linking synchronicity.

‘Fairy Tales do come true it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart.’ – Frank Sinatra, Young at Heart’.

In this show, hear about the unseen guiding hand which has led Shelton to truly remarkable moments, including the day Ol’Blue Eyes very own tuxedo literally walked into Shelton’s life and which is a perfect fit – verified by the late Sir Roger Moore and witness for yourself when Shelton don’s the icon’s tux and gets truly Sinatra ‘Under My Skin’, singing ‘My Way’ – an anthem which takes on a new meaning.

Comprising Sinatra’s timeless hits and a life of truly amazing synchronicity with the icon, Shelton reveals insights into the life of Sinatra and how their lives are intertwined, as he recreates and literally embodies Frank Sinatra on stage.

More importantly – this is a show about hope - what can happen if you dare to dream! Shelton abandoned a secure career to pursue his dreams and now counts awards for embodying Sinatra.

Bearing a striking resemblance to Sinatra, hear about British born Shelton’s fascination with Sinatra from a young age, to portraying him on the London and international stages including for British and European royalty and Sir Elton John. Listen as he shares tales of how he was one of the last people to be inside Sinatra’s final home prior to its demolition; how he discovered that his hands and feet fitted identically into Sinatra’s imprints cast ‘From Here to Eternity’ on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ on Shelton’s own birthday; how Sinatra’s own tuxedo literally walked into to his life in LA; how when appearing on TV’s Alan Titchmarsh show.

Aside from Shelton’s physical similarities, it is impossible not to be astounded by the uncanny likeness of his voice to Sinatra’s magical tones. His performance on the London Stage as Frank Sinatra in the award winning drama ‘RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL’ earned him a ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ nomination and has seen him invited to perform live for Prince Charles and Sir Elton John. He has also recently recorded his latest album ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ with Sinatra’s own band mates inside Capitol studios in LA using Sinatra’s own microphone.  

Born in Wolverhampton, Richard now resides in LA. He has a long diverse acting career with roles on stage, television and movies. He is well known in the UK for his TV appearances on ‘EASTENDERS’ and for his longstanding role on EMMERDALE’ as the evil Dr Adam Forsythe. More recently he has been seen on American TV playing Mr. Benson in ‘HOUSE OF LIES’ alongside Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell and Arnaud in ‘JANE THE VIRGIN’. On the big screen his credits include, ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’, the Japanese cult movie ‘JOKER GAME’, ‘I CAPTURE THE CASTLE’ with Bill Nighy and David in the movie ‘SPACEMAN’ starring Josh Duhamel.


4-28 June
Tickets: Free Fringe

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