Space: Busted by a new musicalBy Lewis Rudd
August 26, 2011
During his time as one third of the pop phenomena that was Busted, James Bourne travelled to the year 3000 where, apparently, not much has changed – but we do live under water.
Now back in the present day, the 27-year-old still has sci-fi on his mind and has turned his attention to writing both music and musicals, with his latest, Out There, premiering in The Wilde Theatre at Bracknell’s South Hill Park this weekend.
Since finding fame and fortune with the hugely popular boy band, James has quietly gone about writing songs for artists such as McFly, The Saturdays and former Spice Girl Melanie C.
And, along with friend and fellow writer Elliott Davis, the pair created Loserville: The Musical last year. The show, it has just been announced, is to enjoy a stint in London’s West End later this year. Now the pair has joined forces once again for Out There.
Speaking about his new production, James jokingly tells me that Out There is destined to instantly follow the success of the pair’s previous production and go straight to London. That’s after it has premiered at South Hill Park this Friday and Saturday, of course.
“This one has been talked about for around a year now,” he says.
“We have probably spent more than a year in total writing [it]. We are now here in this four-day rehearsal boot camp and it is now crunch time. It has been tough but we are pretty much organised and prepared and looking forward to it.”
James adds that he is no stranger to treading the boards himself, as not only has he taken to the stage with bands Busted and Son of Dork, and was part of a production of Oliver! which hit theatres in 1995.
He jokes: “I’m so excited about this show I believe it can go straight to the West End. But, seriously, Looserville was a real success beyond our wildest dreams and we hope Out There can go on and be just as successful.”
The new musical focuses on the mysterious disappearance of an astronaut and his friend, with the latter returning 40 years later with a letter.
Through a cast made up predominately of members from the Youth Music Theatre, the duo hope to provide the audience with an original tale about fathers, grandfathers, families, love, loss and hope.
Or, as Elliott Davis puts it, it’s a production with a “pop and country music vibe” which he believes is “really beautiful” and is likely to reduce him to tears once the curtain call is made.
“Things are going really, really well,” he says during a break from rehearsals. “We have a cast of about 38 and rehearsals have been good.
“Once again we are working with director Stephen Dexter and there is a positive vibe to the show.
“We cannot wait to get started.”
When bringing the curtain down on this interview it was hard not to ask James if there are any plans to write a musical about Busted, having earlier revealed he remains “best buddies” with both Charlie Simpson and Matt Willis, despite the trio deciding to go their own ways musically in 2005.
“I don’t know,” he says. “If Loserville does really really well, who knows?”
Tickets for the show, which will be performed at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and also includes a matinee production at 4pm on the Saturday, are £12, £11 concessions and £7 for under 21s.
For details, call (01344) 484123.