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Sinitta stars in Chicago at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, and says friend Simon Cowell might watch the show


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She became a household name singing So Macho in the 80s, and she's known for being the right hand woman for her long-time friend Simon Cowell on X Factor... but Sinitta admits to having been 'chronically nervous' at appearing on stage in her first musical for 25 years.

The singer, whose friendship with Simon, whom she met in the Embassy Club in London back in 1982, is still much talked about, joined the cast of Chicago the Musical for a three-month stint earlier this year, playing Mama Morton.

Sinitta on stage in Chicago The Musical Picture: Tristram Kenton
Sinitta on stage in Chicago The Musical Picture: Tristram Kenton

She says her initial three month limit was because she was so scared. But, as things have gone so well for her, she added extra dates, which includes a run at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley next week, a stone's throw from where she went to ballet boarding school in Tunbridge Wells (which is no longer there).

She said: "It was the first time I'd been back on stage in 25 years. I was really nervous - like, chronically nervous!

"I'd been offered shows over the years but always turned them down. Lots of people, when they heard I was playing Mama, they didn't think I'd be right for it. I tried not to let it intimidate me.

"I have got to bring my own interpretation to it. I am very different to other people who have played the role. But now I have been doing it a while, I am absolutely in my element. Lots of my family and friends will come to the show at Bromley - I think Simon is going to try and come down."

She said the prospect of touring was something she finally considered as her twin boys, now aged 15, had started boarding school, and had their own social lives.

Sinitta is playing Mama Morton in Chicago The Musical at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley Picture: Tristram Kenton
Sinitta is playing Mama Morton in Chicago The Musical at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley Picture: Tristram Kenton

But she still has one baby with her: Scarlet the dog. "She is so used to being with me, especially after lockdown, that it seems unfair to leave her at home so she's been with me. I get to take her for walks, and we explore all the new places we are visiting with the show together."

Joining the cast of such a well known show, which includes Faye Brookes - best known as Kate Connor on Coronation Street - as Roxie Hart and Darren Day as Billy Flynn, has proved a tonic for the 58-year-old.

"It is a real family atmosphere. We are watching the audience enjoy it as much as they are watching us," she said.

"I started in the theatre and now it is like a return for me. I am coming back as the mother - which is right as I am working with people who are young enough to be my children. I am really glad I made the decision to do it. I feel rejuvenated, and I've found I do have the stamina and the energy.

"I was nervous and I was scared but it was the best decision ever. It has given me a whole new lease of live. I used to think my 50s would be the end, but it is a beginning."

The tour, which is at the Churchill Theatre from Monday, November 22 to Saturday, November 27, has a break for Christmas, which is particularly good for Sinitta as she has her first Christmas single out, I Won't Be Lonely This Christmas.

The cast of Chicago The Musical have been 'like a family' Picture: Tristram Kenton
The cast of Chicago The Musical have been 'like a family' Picture: Tristram Kenton

"It's about not having the disaster that was last year, separated from our loved ones. It has got a real upbeat feel. It is great to be making music again after all these years."

And she reveals that she may also not be lonely at Christmas, as she is dating again, after a five-year period of singledom.

She went through a professional dating agency to meet her man who she describes as someone "people will know" as she said she did not have the confidence to go on dates, and admits "It's really exciting".

More confidence has also sprung from a TV show, Womanhood, which will be on BBC on November 26, during her Bromley run.

"It is the first time I have been asked to be involved in something that is mature and allows me to express myself and discuss important issues with other women from different walks of life. We are all the same really when it comes down to it."

The show, which is produced by David Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler runs at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley from Monday, November 22 to Saturday, November 27. To book tickets click here.

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