Former Manchester City, Wrexham and Northern Ireland midfielder Jim Whitley has exchanged his football boots for tap shoes as he prepares to premier a brand new comedy musical show Crooners set to hit Cast on 12 October.
When injury cut short Jim’s football career he jumped on the chance to get back to his love for music and rekindle his previous experience as a singer. His love for swing music, The Rat Pack and the Great American Song book soon saw Jim become one of the UK’s most in demand crooners on the theatre circuit, and he jumped at the opportunity to play homage to his crooner hero’s Sammy Davis Jr, Matt Monro and Bobby Darin.
Whitley said “this is music from a time where men had style and charisma and could sing, dance, and joke like the best of them. What a time for music.”
Crooner includes more than 20 all time classic crooner songs such as Mr. Bojangles, L.O.V.E, Mac The Knife and Beyond The Sea and features one of the best modern big bands in the UK, The Mini Big Band.
Jim’s footballing feet have fared him well in his transition from football to theatre and he puts them to good practice in an extended Fred Astaire inspired tap dance routine feature.
Jim admitted “I’ve always admired flair and showmanship of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, so I bought some tap shoes! Now, it’s the highlight of my night.”
“I love doing tap dance and learnt the moves off YouTube. I love Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jnr, it’s very, very good stuff and I’ve always admired the flair and showmanship.
“It’s music from a time where men had style and charisma and could sing, dance and joke like the best of them.”
Jim plays a suave, confident and charismatic English gentleman, completely at ease with the role of a Crooner in this modern world; although things don’t always work out.
“Nobody has done it like this”, Whitley says. “We’re playing the music of all the greats, completely live, with an ace band, and throwing in some British comedy that’s had me rolling around in laughter”
You can book for Crooners here.