Interview: Jason Donovan at Bridlington Spa
There's Kylie and Neighbours and Ten Good Reasons. Then there's Priscilla, Rocky Horror and Joseph. Oh, and before we forget, there was I'm A Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing and his well-publicised brush with cocaine.
Sometimes it feels like Jason Donovan has packed a hundred years of living into his 50 years of life.
“It’s been quite a ride,” he says.
Perhaps it’s no wonder that the title of his new tour is My Amazing Midlife Crisis. The singer will head to Bridlington Spa on Thursday April 26.
“There’s plenty of audience interaction with a question and answer session in the second half. I play a few tunes, tell a few stories, make the audience laugh,” he said.
Jason Donovan’s Amazing Midlife Crisis will examine every aspect of his life, from where he began to where he is today. His self-effacing, mercurial story-telling will shatter illusions of the ‘teen heart throb’. He said: “In the past I’ve either been too young, too busy or too dazed and confused to be able to make sense of my life. But now, on the eve of my 50th birthday – and older and wiser, if a little more weathered – I believe that I am finally in a position to put my life into perspective. I’m in a great place, surrounded by good people and don’t feel like I need to prove myself anymore.”
He was the ultimate 80s heart-throb who commanded an audience of 22 million in Neighbours, dated co-star Kylie Minogue and went on to score no fewer than 16 hit singles, sell more than 30 million records worldwide and appear in a series of hit West End musicals. But at the time, it didn’t make him happy. Pigeon-holed and marginalised as a teen heart throb and family entertainer, Jason’s desire to shake-off his heart throb image and be cool and credible resulted in him famously collapsing during a cocaine fuelled binge at Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’s party and passing out on top of Jack Nicholson.
Meeting his wife Angela and the subsequent birth of his children forced him to re-evaluate his life.
He reinvigorated his career on reality TV programmes I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and Strictly Come Dancing.
“I’m a Celebrity helped to revitalise my career, I guess, because the public got to see what I was really like.
“ I’m glad I did the show and I’m glad I did Strictly, too. I finished third on both shows. It’s great that the public are still with me after all these years.”
Eventually Jason re-found his love of performing with leading roles in Sweeney Todd, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Rocky Horror Show and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds, The Sound of Music, and Annie Get Your Gun.
He also toured the UK in the play The King’s Speech.
Jason’s autobiographical show takes the singer’s looming 50th birthday as its starting point and zigzags back and forth through a life in which becoming a heart-throb at 18 and falling from grace at 27 plays only a tiny part.
Jason said: “My dad always said to me, the secret to a long and happy life is not to take it all too seriously.
“I’ve been on the edge, pushed my life to the extreme and come back from it which has actually made me stronger and made me realise what I don’t want to do with my life.
“I think perhaps the key to a good life is keeping a balance both physically and mentally and the realisation that success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success.”
Tickets: 01262 678258 or www.bridspa.com