We live in a time of great musicians who have really had such an important impact on the world on so many levels, not just through their music, but their ability to be themselves while being an inspiration that others look up to with admiration and respect. One such guy, was the multi talented George Michael. Having such an incredible career, like many I was sad to hear that on Christmas Day in 2016, the singer sadly passed away as a result of heart and liver disease. Fast forward to the team behind the production, Fastlove, they helped to ensure that the legacy of George Michael would never be forgotten.
This September saw Fastlove celebrate its 1st Birthday in typical jubilant fashion with a huge theatre date at the Liverpool Empire. Since it’s 2017 launch, the show has gone from strength to strength, thrilling audiences up and down the country and overseas and is now set to underline this standout success with the announcement of its UK Arena Tour. These Arena dates will mark the evolution of Fastlove, showcasing bigger and better production, a bigger band, more classic show stopping numbers and the appearance of George Michael’s own saxophonist, Ed Barker.
Following in the philanthropic footsteps of the great man himself, Fastlove’s producers recently announced a partnership with leading HIV and AIDS awareness charity, The Terrence Higgins Trust. To continue to up-hold the legacy of George Michael, every ticket purchased on this show will generate a donation for the charity.
Wanting to find out more about the team’s plans for the exciting Arena tour in 2019, we caught up with Fastlove producer and director, James Taylor and also Joseph Sansome who plays the leading role of George Michael.
Given that Fastlove has had a huge and phenomenal success at the West End what went through your head when you knew you were going to make this World Tour?
James: I didn’t know, I just hoped and gave it all I could. I could not have believed the journey we have had the past year and I am so proud of all the team and am absolutely delighted to be able to share the show with George fans all over the world.
What has been the most liberating and rewarding part of working on Fastlove from a producing and directing point of view?
James: Creating a show incredible show that the fans adore that’s grown from strength to strength since it started! We are so proud of what we have achieved!
When selecting the cast for Fastlove were there any particular qualities you were looking for which determined who would be your final choices?
James: I wanted to close my eyes and hear George, and that ladies and gentleman is what we got!
2018 marks the 1st Birthday of Fastlove – what makes you smile as you look back?
James: The astonishing achievement of the Fastlove team and how far we have come, we couldn’t of asked for a better response from the fans and we hope that this continues to build year after year.
Was there any parts of George Michael’s life that really resonated with you?
James: George was a massive philanthropist and that’s something that resonated with me and I like to think that through our work we can continue this legacy. We donate a portion of the profits to Terence Higgins Trust, a cause that was close to Georges heart.
Joseph: Of course for me it has to be Georges passion for his fans and the music, I have always felt the same! I love the music and I love the lovelies
Joining you on the tour you have special guest, Ed Baker. What are you looking most forward to working along side him?
James: We are honoured to have Ed with us on the show, his incredible talent is second to none.
Joseph: - As a massive George Fan it is my utmost honour to sing along side Ed the same as George did is amazing.
What was it like to be selected to play the leading role of such an influential guy such as George Michael?
Joseph: When I first found out I had been cast, I was over the moon. George has and always will be my idol and to spend my life paying tribute to him in Fastlove is a dream come true. Talk about work satisfaction, when your singing the songs you love and remembering a legend with the fans, somehow that doesn’t feel like work. Don’t tell James I said that 😉
How would you describe the vibe amongst the rest of the cast members who are also part of this incredible experience and testimony of the life of George Michael?
Joseph: We are not just a team, we are a family! We all have one thing in common, a true and meaningful love for George Michael and this comes across in everything we do, the care and detail that is taken in the show and rehearsals. We are so grateful to the fans for their support and we love them all!
When people come to the shows what is the best way to truly embrace the Fastlove experience?
James: People can come to the show knowing that Fastlove is in honour and tribute to an absolute legend. We know we can’t replace George and we would never want to, we only want to honour him! Embrace that and you will enjoy the show because close your eyes and it’s like having George back.
Joseph : Come and hear your favourite songs from an icon that we all loved and adored, get up and dance and dance the night away!
Wishing James, Joseph and the rest of the Fastlove cast and crew all the best for the tour.
Article By Thushara
Answers By James Taylor ( Producer & Director of Fastlove) & Joseph Sansome (Leading Role of George Michael)