Oh god. Make it stop. Please. Just. Make. It. Stop.
Hundreds of misguided youths have been giving it everything they’ve got in recent auditions, in order to land a part in a new musical following the adventures of a fictional Take That band. Young men have been dancing and singing their hearts out in the hope that they will be chosen as “The One Who Looks A Bit Like Howard” and “The One Who Sounds Like Mark If You Don’t Have To Look At Him” in Never Forget, which is due to open in Cardiff in July before touring and coming to London in the autumn.
As if the idea of a Take That stage musical didn’t raise our blood pressure enough, it seems that we are the only ones who spotted that auditions were for characters that aren’t even the real deal, for Christ’s sake! It’s a musical about a tribute band so what the hell was up for grabs? What were all these stage school boys with overworked hair styles and skinny scarves fighting over? A role that involves sounding a bit like someone who sounds a bit like the one who stood at the back of the boy band line-up and occasionally grabbed his crotch?
There are numerous elements of heartbreak in this news. Forget the trembling bottom lip of the young boy from Bolton who came all the way into the Big Smoke only to cock up his back flip and lip sync combo. Forget also the long line of hopefuls who prayed hard not to be taken on board as Gary. Forget the fact that Take That themselves do not endorse this stage show, as it was created before they decided to re-form.
The heartbreak lies in the fact that some of the bright young things auditioning couldn’t remember when Take That first occupied the hearts and minds of Britain’s teenage community. 17 year old Craig Edgeley who was trying his luck at auditioning for the Robbie role was only six years old when the original Take That disbanded. For all of us who remember the years of bland boy band misery Take That put us through and the promise of more now that they have come back to life, it is little Craig Edgeley’s naive enthusiasm about this unholy pop tribute West End musical that shatters the fragile bonds of our hearts. If only he knew how it was, how it will be. Oh, the innocence that will be lost.
It’s also heartbreaking to think that we must be really old right now, if we can remember the break-up of the band – and even then, we have to think really hard about it because it was so long ago.
Have a great Bank Holiday Weekend, all of you. Make sure you take some time to dust off your old CDs and listen to some old favourites, like Kula Shaker, Republica and, ooh, Lightning Seeds.