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Interview with Sonia 2007

Image: Sonia 2007Good Golly, It’s Sonia
By Chris High

Sonia, the bubbly, effervescent Stock, Aitken and Waterman find of the late eighties and early nineties, is set to hit the stage of The Liverpool Royal Court in Bob Eaton’s latest play, Good Golly, Miss Molly, alongside notable Merseyside actors Andrew Schofield, Eithne Browne and Carl Chase, and she can hardly wait. ‘My role is very meaty. I play Molly, a girl from Liverpool who is very ambitious, very enthusiastic and who loves to sing in a band. A girl very much like myself in many ways,’ Sonia laughed. ‘This is a role I can really get my teeth into, because it’s a roller-coaster of emotions backed by tremendous songs. It’s a great opportunity to show what I can do with my acting skills and though I’ve done musicals before, I’ve never had anything that’s involved so much drama. Bob has been to great to work with, because he is so calm and reassuring, as are the cast who are just so experienced, talented and helpful. There are no prima donnas here and it might sound like a cliché but, honestly, it’s like working with a family. The more you get to know someone like that, the more you can interact with them and so bring the best from the play.’

It’s 1985 and Richard Street, Liverpool, is under threat of the bulldozers. The council are determined to clear some space for “urban renewal”, and it seems nothing can stand in their way. Nothing except Molly Eldon, that is. The battle is on and to bring in funds to fight it, Molly is getting the old band back together - Ronnie Angel and the Devils. ‘The play is all about what happens to Molly, with flashbacks. She’s a very feisty person who is always hassling to play in bands until one night the lead singer gets laryngitis so they call me on to take the limelight. She’s had a tough life, has Molly and Bob’s writing is just superb. With the addition of material by Dave Kirby, the story and the emotions are just electric and very funny, but also quite dark. It’s a great show to be involved in.’

After a singing career that saw Sonia reach number one and gain world acclaim, it might be a little surprising to hear that she doesn’t particularly hanker after those days. ‘It was fabulous at the time, but I certainly don’t miss the pressure of wondering if my song has made the right height in the charts or the hard work of living in hotel rooms, travelling and promotion. Every day I’d be up at five to promote the song or the album, which is great but it does get very tiring. I was only a kid and visited every country in the world, but I wish I’d taken the time to look around more. To have appreciated the places I was in.’

Having experienced so called “Reality TV” in the show Reborn In The USA, which saw bands and singers such as Elkie Brookes and Dollar fight it out to re-ignite their careers with a wider audience, Sonia doesn’t dismiss the possibility of doing other fly-on-the-wall shows. ‘Not Big Brother, though,’ she said. ‘Sitting around a house all day stabbing other people in the back would be just plain boring but I could see myself in something like I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. Even though I’m not the biggest bug lover in the world, the challenge would be amazing and there always seems to be something to do. I’m thinking of doing a show called Celebrity Scissorhands for Children In Need this year, which sees me cutting and styling people’s hair, which will be great fun if the show comes off.’

Sonia has some sound advice for those contemplating a career in show business. ‘I would say, unless you are completely sure you believe in yourself and have ambition I don’t think you should go into it. There is so much competition out there, rejection is almost a matter of course. Still, if you really want to do it, then go for it and explore every avenue and get as much experience of being on a stage as you can. I came from a musical family and dad was always playing the guitar and my sisters and me were always singing in Social clubs and what have you. They don’t really exist any more and you have to realise that work’s not going to come to you. You have to go out and find it and stand out from the crowd. A lot of people who go to drama schools have never been on a stage so when they come out of it, they think they have the business cracked but, honestly, there is nothing like experience so just go out and get as much as you can and be as passionate as you can.’

Despite perhaps not being quite so much in the public eye, Sonia is nonetheless incredibly busy. ‘I’m always touring with my band around the clubs and conventions. Long term though I’m looking at acting as a career. A part on Coronation Street would be fabulous, but I just love the whole buzz of acting in general and think it’s what suits me best right now.’

For more information:

Sonia will be appearing in Good Golly, Miss Molly at The Royal Court, Liverpool, from Friday October 5, 2007. For tickets: 0870 787 1866

Parts of this interview have, or will, appear in other publications and in other formats.

If you would like to comment on this interview with Sonia, please feel free to contact me - GUESTBOOK

“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
© 2007 all rights reserved