The highly successful Simon and Garfunkel Story returns with a brand new show for 2016.
On the receiving end of standing ovations throughout the UK, this year’s tour will arrive at the Millennium Forum on the back of two sold out performances at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.
Telling the fascinating tale of how two young boys from New York went on to become the world’s most successful music duo of all time, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ combines theatre with the incredible music of the iconic duo.
The show is written by actor and musician Dean Elliott who rose to fame in the lead role of Buddy Holly in the West End, Olivier Award nominated musical ‘Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story’ which he toured with across the world and he was even asked to perform the show in Buddy’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas, in front, and with, Buddy’s immediate family.
It’s safe to say Dean has a hands-on approach to The Simon & Garfunkel Story, “I wrote it, I co-directed it, I’m the musical director and I sometimes play Paul Simon but only when Gregg can’t” Dean told me.
This current tour is fronted by Gregory Clarke who plays the role of Paul Simon and Joe Sterling as Art Garfunkel. Dean told me how tough it had been to get right guys for the roles. “The casting process was an absolute nightmare” Dean says with a laugh.
“You have got to get people who look like them, who sound like them and equally be able to perform and carry this off night after night after night all over the world.”
Being such a big fan of the music of Simon & Garfunkel, Dean wanted to create a show telling their story while at the same time doing justice to their music.
“I love their music and I felt that it was a story that needed to be told” he said. “I come from a theatrical background so I didn’t want to create just a tribute act, it would have been very easy to do just that. So what we decided to do was to create a show that told the story of their lives while featuring all of this fabulous music.
“We take people back in time through our video screen which shows a lot if images from the 1960’s and really celebrates what they were talking about as obviously the 60’s was a very important time with social and political change and it’s worth mentioning in the show.”
On speaking to Dean it was obvious just how deep his love for their music ran, and just how much research went in to the show so I was curious to find out his favourite Simon and Garfunkel song.
“Mine is actually quite unconventional” he said. “I’ve been very lucky in the sense that I have been able to look at Paul Simon’s songwriting through a microscope and the more I spend getting to know it, the more I realise that he’s a genius.
“There is one song that he wrote called ‘The dangling conversation’ which I think is just an incredible piece of songwriting, both musically and lyrically. He once said himself ‘I’ve written a masterpiece’ with that song, although it never became the masterpiece in the sense of commercial success but when I listened to the song and deconstructed it, I realised just how good that song is.”
And what about the audience, which song receives the best reception? “Definitely ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water” he said.
“Seeing Joe Sterling singing that song at the end of the show is worth the ticket price alone, he is just so good! That song evokes so many memories if it is done with real justice.”
You can catch the Simon and Garfunkel Story at the Millennium Forum on Sunday 29th May at 8pm with tickets priced at £17.50.