There are many people out there who would like to spend Valentine’s Day with Tom Chambers.
Well sorry, I had that privilege when we chatted to him between matinee and evening performances of his new musical Crazy For You coming to Milton Keynes Theatre next week.
The musical tells the troubled love story of Bobby, played by Chambers, and frustrated Broadway hoofer Polly, daughter of the proprietor of a failing theatre in Deadrock, Nevada.
Sent to close the theatre down, Bobby falls for Polly and, in the guise of a Hungarian impresario, decides to save the theatre by putting on a show.
It also comes packed with well known tunes - I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.
“When I saw the show when it was first performed in 1992, I thought please, please, please let me play Bobby in Crazy For You,” Tom said.
It’s at this point that the popularity of the Holby City actor and Strictly Come Dancing winner becomes apparent as our chat is interrupted by adoring fans. But he is happy to take the time to pose for photos.
Tom said: “It’s such a funny, clever, brilliant musical and such a joy to see and perform.”
You’ve heard of the expression actors suffering for their art, well there are certainly big challenges for Tom.
He said: “This is a very energetic show and Bobby, being the main character, is on a lot of the time doing singing and dancing. It’s a very energetic show which takes a lot out of you.
“There is an ice bin that I get into at the end of every show. It’s a kind of cryotherapy that some sports people use. It gets rid of the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles. You do get a hell of a work out doing this show.”
He is also full of praise for the songs of the show and struggles to pick just one that he especially loves.
Tom said: “I think I Got Rhythm is a fantastic song as is They Can’t Take That Away From Me. They are just timeless songs and wonderful to perform.”
The show will also see a return to Milton Keynes Theatre for Tom having previously originated the role of Jerry Travers in Top Hat which started at the venue in 2011 before going out on tour and ending up in the West End.
Tom said: “It was great to have that role in Top Hat, it was a great joy to do.
“I remember the venue, we were able to play lots of Laser Quest near the theatre which is great fun.”
And while Tom is equally known for his television work and now for his time on the stage thanks to performing in Top Hat, he’s quite happy to do both.
Tom said: “I really love doing both things but you cannot beat the reaction that you get from a live audience. You get a lot more of an immediate response as well.”
He also confirmed that he will be returning to the small screen after the tour has finished, reprising his role as Inspector Sullivan in the BBC daytime drama Father Brown starring Mark Williams in the title role.
But for the immediate future, his co-stars in the show are Claire Sweeney and Charlotte Wakefield as Irene and Polly respectively with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin.
Crazy For You can be seen at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday, March 20 to 24. Tickets cost from £19 and they can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes