A Wigan-born pop star is preparing to appear on a different kind of stage as he makes his professional acting debut.
Limahl, who spent his earliest years in Pemberton and shot to stardom in ’80s band Kajagoogoo, will appear in a production of Earthquakes in London.
The singer, real name Christopher Hamill, says he is looking forward to treading the boards as the piece is about the extremely relevant topic of climate change.
The play, by Mike Bartlett, will be performed at a small venue away from the West End and Limahl says it has a number of echoes with what has been happening recently.
The 60-year-old said: “I’ve been studying acting for about three years and I’m currently really busy learning lines for it. It’s what in theatre is called a fringe show, or what the Americans would call off-Broadway. I’m so excited about it. It’s very topical as it’s about climate change. It got produced at The National Theatre about 10 years ago but I think it’s more relevant now.
“You’ve got what’s happening in Whaley Bridge and this summer we’ve again had some of the hottest temperatures recorded in Europe. This has been happening more frequently over the last 10 years.
“It’s set over three periods, the ’60s, present day and the future. There are three sisters and climate change is causing earthquakes in London. I think it’s an important piece.”
The three women in the play, which had its premiere in 2010, have been abandoned by their father, a climate scientist who predicts a terrible environmental apocalypse. The eldest is a cabinet minister who tries to halt all airport expansion, the middle woman grows increasingly depressed by the future her child faces while the youngest sibling is a rebellious teen.
It is all quite a contrast to the pop music with which Limahl originally made his name, both in Kajagoogoo and a solo artist, or his appearance in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity in 2012.
The singer also recently enjoyed an unexpected boost when his song Neverending Story, the theme track to the film of the same name, was prominently used in the season finale of Netflix smash hit show Stranger Things.
The result was an online bonanza of interest as the song’s official video on Youtube racked up nearly a million hits and thousands of people downloaded the song from streaming sites.
Limahl said: “I’ve never watched Stranger Things. I was just in the car with my mum and my nephew and mentioned my song was being used. My nephew Josh went ballistic, saying:
‘Uncle C, that’s massive!’. It proves the truth of the old saying that what goes around comes around as that song went to number one in 17 countries but only reached number 17 in the US.
I was always a bit disappointed with that but 35 years later here we are.”