Mel C talks to JMU Journalism

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JMU Journalism’s Hayley Minn with Mel C

It’s not every day of the week that you get to talk to one of the Spice Girls, but with ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ coming to Liverpool tonight, Melanie Chisolm, better known as Mel C, spoke to JMU Journalism about her role as Mary Magdalene, performing at the Olympics and being a mother.

Ahead of the show at the Echo Arena, she said: “I’m very excited about tonight’s performance. This is a very special one for me.

“Obviously, this is my home city, so I’m going to have loads of friends and loads of family in, so I’ll probably be more nervous than on some shows, where I don’t know so many people in the audience. I know that a Liverpool crowd will be a fantastic crowd.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show, Jesus Christ Superstar, first started in Broadway in October 1971, and, as part of a tour for 2012, is at the Echo for one night only.

Affectionately known as Sporty Spice by her Spice Girl fans, Melanie will be performing in a company of 50, including former Radio One DJ Chris Moyles and comedian Tim Minchin.

She told JMU Journalism: “It’s really different working in a cast to working in Spice Girls. As there’s so many of us on stage, it’s brilliant, because you’re like one big happy family.

“Although that’s what touring is always like, with the girls it would be us girls, we’d have our dancers and we’d have the band. With this, it’s more like everybody is part of one team. I’ve made loads of new friends, and I’m learning so much, because it’s quite different to be playing a role, rather than just being yourself up there.”

The role of Jesus in the production was chosen through an ITV talent show, ‘Superstar’, for which Melanie was a judge.

The winner was Ben Forster and, on whether it was strange working with someone that she helped choose, she told JMU Journalism: “I know Ben so well now, and he’s such a fantastic performer and we’re really good mates, so I just feel really comfortable with him.”

With the Spice Girls being one of the biggest girl bands of all time, Melanie, along with her four fellow band members, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham and Melanie Brown, was asked to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

She told JMU Journalism: “It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my career, and I think all of the girls would agree. It was so much fun; so exciting, and the reaction internationally was so overwhelming. We just feel really lucky that people are still out there supporting us. It’s amazing.”

Mel C performing in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ © Jesus Christ Superstar website

Melanie, who was born in Whiston, went on to explain that juggling her role as a mother to three-year-old Scarlet and her career is what she finds her biggest challenge, having recently had to spend 11 days away from her.

“It’s hard when you’re touring, because usually, if I’m working on my own stuff, I can cater to my own life, but because I’m in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production he’s my boss now, so I have to do what he wants me to do!

“What this has taught me is that if I am going to continue to tour, then I think she has to be with me, because it’s just too long to be away. She does come up to see me, and I pop back to see her, but I miss her a lot.”

Melanie’s new album, ‘Stages’, is an collection of musical theatre covers that she performed throughout her school years, and for auditions. The first single from the album, ‘I Know Him So Well’, features Melanie’s old bandmate, Emma Bunton.

On perfoming with Emma again, Melanie said: “I absolutely loved it. I love spending time with her. She’s one of my closest friends, and singing with her is quite emotional, because it makes us reminisce back to the Spice Girls days, and it’s very much the Spice Girls sound.

“Our voices work so well together, and we did a lot of songs together in the Spice Girls. It’s really nice. We’ve got loads of TV performances coming up, so we’re just looking forward to hanging out and having some fun.”

Having gone to an arts school when she was 16, Melanie spoke of how she wanted to do this album as she always loved musical theatre, but working in pop music had taken over her life for the last 16 year, so she had never got round to making it.

On future plans, Melanie told JMU Journalism: “I’m hoping that people enjoy this album, and if it goes well, it would be nice to go on a concert tour; take a nice big band out, have a brass section, a string section, and do some theatres. I want to do an ‘Evening with…’ kind of show, which would be quite different to what I usually do. The plan is to keep making music, keep performing, keep doing more theatre, and see where that takes me.”

Melanie’s album, ‘Stages’, is out now, and her new single, ‘I Know Him So Well’, featuring Emma Bunton, will be out on November 11th.

About Hayley Minn, JMU Journalism