Rag’n’Bone Man, Boy George & Culture Club and Russell Watson headline in Mid-Sussex

Russell WatsonRussell Watson
Russell Watson
Pretty much this time last year Russell Watson insisted he was taking nothing for granted.

“But to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is genuinely a wonderful feeling”, he said at the time.

But then that light briefly went out. The 2021 Last Night of the Proms UK outdoor summer show at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, didn’t happen amid all the Covid concerns.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The great news is that it is all looking good now for 2022 as Heritage Live Concerts 2022 head to The South of England Event Centre with dates rescheduled from last year. Coming up are: Friday, July 15 – Rag’n’Bone Man; Saturday, July 16 – Boy George & Culture Club; and Sunday, July 17 – Last Night of the Heritage Proms with Russell Watson.

Russell said: “I really love the open-air concerts and this one is going to be great. It's going to be the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and it's going to be a real Last Night of the Proms type feeling with a lot of Pomp and Circumstance singing from the audience, I hope!”

Russell comes to it on the back of four months touring in the musical Chicago: “We were doing eight shows a week and I have only just finished. It was great fun to do. It's a slightly grim and dark musical but it's one of those musicals where you can bring to it what you want. For my character Billy Flynn, having watched a few Billy Flynns online, you can see that some people play Billy as a really dark gangster type. Some people play him as a really upbeat light-on-his-feet kind of guy. I just wanted to get my own take and my take was that Flynn, especially when you peel back the layers, is a deeply unpleasant human being. All he really cares about is himself. And all he really cares about after that is money. You peel back the layers and you can see just how manipulative is, and I feel that I really got the essence of him.

“I have done bits and bobs in musical theatre over the years and I've tried to fit stuff in between my touring and I got to the point where I thought that I'd really like to have a good full-on tour, doing eight shows a week, week after week and at the end of it I'm thinking now that I would like to do more. It is hard work. It takes up every minute of the day. You actually live the show but it was great to do.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the meantime, it's back to the concert platform, relishing the chance to be back out there again. and yes there was a brief honeymoon once the concerts all started up again.

“I remember when I was performing after my first tumour and I was saying that I would never take life for granted ever again, that I would treat every day like it was my last. But slowly, slowly you get back to normality. As human beings we just can't live like that and being from the north-west of England obviously we enjoy a good moan!”

And it was a bit like that getting back to performance again.

“Chicago was very taxing in a different way, not so taxing vocally but very taxing mentally and physically and when you come out of something like and come back into concerts, not having done them for a while, there is definitely a bit of renewed vigour and I am really looking forward to them.”