Late October back in 2014, what a very special time for me, as I headed down to Edinburgh to see Jersey Boys ahead of its run at His Majesty’s Theatre in March.
The show has been seen by over 19 million people worldwide and it is firmly established as one of the West End’s longest running and most popular shows.
Jersey Boys tells the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.
These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were included into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30.
The show is packed with with their hits including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Working My Way Back to You.
Taking the roles of the Jersey Boys are Stephen Webb (Tommy DeVito), Sam Ferriday (Bob Gaudio) and Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi).
West End star Tim Driesen takes the lead role of Frankie Valli, with Matt Corner playing the role at certain performances.
I caught up with the cast members after the show to find out what it takes to be a Jersey Boy and how it feels to part of this hugely successful show.
Speaking to the Buchanie, Stephen Webb (Tommy DeVito) said: “All of us took four days out to research the characters’ stories and practice their accents.
“We didn’t want to make caricatures so we looked into each character and how they created each song.
“I first saw the show about five years ago at the West End and I always wanted to be part of it as it’s a proper bloke show.”
When asked how he managed to get his accent just right, Stephen said: “We watched a lot of films and tv shows like Goodfellas and The Sopranos.”
He added: “The show has a great script and music, and we have had an amazing response from people so far. We never want the standards to fall.”
Tim Driesen (Frankie Valli) said: “I saw the show six times before I was asked to be a part of it and I think the best thing about it is that it’s a true story - you couldn’t write it.
“It is tragic and glamorous at the same time from paying off debts to making it big but meanwhile their families fall apart. It is a double-edged sword for them.”
Speaking of the show, Tim added: “It’s great to be part of a big production and every scene change flows beautifully.
“It is a well oiled machine and there isn’t one place this show has been where people haven’t been affected by it.”
I also managed to speak to the show’s resident director, Allison Coyne, who told me she feels a certain pressure to keep the show’s standards high.
She said: “Everyone involved with the show feels like they are now part of the Jersey family who have been there since the beginning and we want to keep it that way.
“The writers asked me how the audiences would react to the show and asked if they would be quiet but I said “No way!”, and I also told them that the further North you go the better it gets so the Aberdeen audiences better not let us down!”
Jersey Boys will run at His Majesty’s Theatre from Tuesday 3 to Saturday 14 March and tickets are available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, 01224 641122 and Aberdeen Box Office at His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall.