A NEW West End musical starring Darren Day has its roots set firmly in Huntingdonshire thanks to two of its leading lights.

The Golden Voice, a tale following the fortunes of a talent show winner, was created by Offord D’Arcy resident Nick Fogarty, who wrote the story, music and lyrics.

It will make its debut at London’s Arts Theatre in June having been seven years in the making and will be choreographed by Mr Fogarty’s friend Jordi Guitart from St Ives.

The musical tells of Mike Chariot, played by Day, a singer who will do anything for fame, including betraying his best mate and dumping his childhood sweetheart on his way to winning The Golden Voice singing contest.

He enjoys instant success but it soon dawns on him that he is being used by the record company, so he quits.

Twenty years on, he makes a comeback to help others achieve their dreams in the music industry without having to win a TV show. But his new venture puts him in conflict with former pal Jim Ryan whose life went downhill after Chariot pulled out of a band they were in – and Ryan wants revenge.

Mr Fogarty, who is 51, used his experience of the music industry for the show, having been in a band signed to record labels in the 1980s and then a writer and producer for artists in Germany.

“You write about what you know,” he said. “I loosely based it on my life. I walked away from lucrative deals. For me, I don’t equate success with money. I was in a position where I was doing work I didn’t value.”

Mr Fogarty, who now coaches musical theatre actors, admitted having previously said no celebrities would feature.

But he was instantly impressed by Day, best known for roles in Summer Holiday and Joseph. “This man is a phenomenal performer. He totally understands the Mike Chariot character and will bring authenticity to it. I cannot think of anyone who could do it better.”

Auditions finished last week and rehearsals started yesterday (Tuesday).

Mr Guitart, 50, who set up The Guitart School (TGS) of Performing Arts for children at Burleigh Hill Community Centre more than 12 years ago, said he has been working on the show with Mr Fogaarty for some time.

“It has been a labour of love for both Nick and myself to get this off the ground. I absolutely love the script, music and what the show stands for – integrity and belief in what you as a person can achieve if you love what you do.”

It will be Mr Guitart’s first show in the West End as a choreographer but he has performed there in Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium and La Cava at various theatres.

INFORMATION: Previews from June 12. The show will then run from June 20 until August 31. To find out more about The Golden Voice and to book tickets, visit www.thegoldenvoicemusical.co.uk