After some time spent catching up with other local press over lunch, overlooking the beach at Hot Rocks in Bournemouth, I got the chance to sit down with Rachel Stevens to discuss the upcoming pantomime and her experiences in entertainment.
So you’re playing Fairy Sweet Pea, what’s the process of preparing for the pantomime been like?
Well, the opportunity came up and I thought what brilliant fun it would be, but we haven’t really done much! This is still very much the first phase of it, and I’m new to panto, so I don’t know what the protocol is so I’m just going with it. It’s my first time meeting all the guys, they’ve all been so lovely.
Obviously, you’re known best probably for music, what was it like when you were making music as a solo artist and in S Club 7 because really you’re one of the biggest names in noughties pop.
It feels so long ago, doesn’t it? How old were you when S Club 7 started, you must have been young?
Oh, like 3, but I probably heard you first when Sunshine came out. I remember having a video of a safari trip you did, and there was a TV show – you guys did so much! What was your favourite part of all of it?
There were different favourite parts, I think when it was all beginning really because it was all so exciting, it was such an experience over so many years – and we were all really young ourselves.
You were like 16-20, right?
Yeah, I was 19, Hannah was the youngest at 16, we were young – it was just an amazing experience like with any job – we got to travel the world, we did so much, it was great.
I mean you’ve covered obviously music, now panto – is theatre something you think you’ll go into one day?
Definitely, if the right thing came around, I love theatre myself but I’ve never done it before.
What advice would you give to people who wanted to get into entertainment?
I think you’ve got to be really passionate about it, really love it, for whatever it is you want to be. I think there are so many opportunities in entertainment now, there always have been, but just to learn more of whatever it is you want to do and to just go for it. I’ve been asked how I’d feel if my girls ever wanted to do it, and I would always say the same. I would be so happy if they wanted to get into it, but as long as they were passionate about it and worked hard, and enjoyed it.
What made you want to do this?
The last few years I’ve taken my girls to panto, I’d never really been to it before that except perhaps when I was really young, and it’s so fun. I thought it was a brilliant thing to do for them as well – their faces lit up when I told them I was going to be a fairy – and it’s a different opportunity. It’s quite a short run as well which I thought was perfect because I don’t like to be away from my girls for too long, so I thought if ever I’m going to do it, now’s the time to do it, Bournemouth’s great and it all just kind of fit. Any job you do has got to fit into your life.
Now tune back into the good old days with S Club 7’s hit, ‘S Club Party’