The show will go on says St Neots musician and writer

Nick Fogarty.

Nick Fogarty. - Credit: Archant

Musician and writer Nick Fogarty is appealing for investors to come forward and help him realise his dream of staging a West End show.

His plea comes after seeing the plug pulled on his work Best of Friends just two-and-a-half weeks away from opening in London’s famous theatre district.

The musical – which was set to star TV and West End performer Darren Day – was due to begin its run at the Arts Theatre near Leicester Square in June 2012.

But one week after the sets were built and the cast was in rehearsal, vital funds failed to arrive according to Mr Fogarty.

Mr Fogarty, 53, of Bramley Drive, Offord D’Arcy, said: “It was horrible for everyone and I really felt for everyone, particularly when we were working that hard and long. You put your heart and soul into it. It was awful.


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“We got this unbelievable cast and Darren said it’s one of the best shows he’s ever been in. People still want to work on the show going forward.”

While Mr Fogarty has got £50,000 for the project, he needs £131,000 for pre-production costs and £28,000 per week for running costs.

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The show was spotted by backers after its run at the Key Theatre, Peterborough, back in 2011. Following a run at the Landor Theatre in Clapham in 2013, it is now being performed by the St Neots VAMPS at The Priory Centre from January 30-31.

He said: “I was really interested in just breaking it – I wanted the show to speak for itself.

“I’ve now had to reimagine the show and get to the kernel of it. It is better – the story is even stronger and even more simplistic.

“I just wanted something that was not held up on big production values.

“It is still about songwriting and storytelling and I want to inspire the next generation.”

The plot is centred around musicians Mike Chariot and Jim Ryan who start a band together as youngsters, but struggle to make it big.

Their friendship is tested to its limits when Mike’s talent show dreams come true, throwing everything else in his life into question. Ultimately, their bond cannot survive as fame takes hold and Jim gets embroiled in the criminal fraternity.

When they reconnect 20 years later, their circumstances could not be more different. The possibility of a truce hangs in the balance as they come to terms with the destructive effect of fame.

Mr Fogarty described the show as “semi-autobiographical”, drawing on his experiences in the industry. In the 1980s, he was signed to RCA with high energy band Academy and toured with Dead or Alive. He was then signed to Warner Bros Records with duo It Takes Precedence.

He has been working on Best of Friends in its various forms - including under its previous name The Golden Voice - for about eight years.

“The audience are going to see a West End show with a community theatre cast at the Priory Centre. I have got unbelievable support and commitment from them,” he said. INFORMATION: St Neots VAMPS shows start at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Tickets £12 for adults and £8.50 for concessions from www.thevamps.org. To get in touch with Mr Fogarty, go to www.bestoffriendsmusical.com and click on the contact panel.

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