Strong family support helped Noel survive the ‘Hear’say experience’

Noel Sullivan - Priscilla Queen of the Desert at The Congress Theatre in Eastbourne
Noel Sullivan - Priscilla Queen of the Desert at The Congress Theatre in Eastbourne

It has taken Welsh singer and actor Noel Sullivan a long time to ‘recover’ from the Hear’say experience.

Plunged into the spotlight in 2001 when the group - Noel, Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh and Suzanne Shaw - won Popstars, looking back he feels they were the guinea pigs of the instant stardom world.

Nowadays winners of such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent receive massive support, but it wasn’t always so.

Hear’say went on to release four singles (including Pure and Simple) and two albums but disbanded 18 months later. Fortunately Noel was well grounded within a strong family and with their support he soon refocused his career back to his initial passion of musical theatre.

He had trained as a chorister when growing up in Cardiff and understudied for the Welsh National Opera where he established that love for theatre.

After the Hear’say ‘whirlwind’ Noel worked hard to learn from his experiences and considers his big break came when he played the lead role of Galileo Figaro in the 2011 tour of We Will Rock You.

Now starring in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a relaxed and enthusiastic Sullivan said Monday’s opening night at The Congress had received a great reception - the show delivering on a promise to take audiences away for a few hours with outrageous costumes and numerous dance-floor hits on the way.

“Monday’s fantastic response was great - and that’s what we are here for. Touring is hard work but we love it when we see so many people having a great time,” he told the Herald on Tuesday.

Yet less than 72 hours earlier he had struggled through three final performances at Blackpool suffering from tonsilitis.

“It can be tough if you are not 100 per cent but once you are on stage and getting such great reactions from the audience you battle on.

“I’m better now but you have to look after your voice in this business and I have a pretty strict regime which I follow.”

It’s not Noel’s first time in Eastbourne as he was here for a week with Flash Dance in 2009. He was enjoying his return and very much looking forward to The Red Arrows displays later in the week.

The Devonshire Park dressing room may be a long way from those heady Hear’say days - but Noel looked a very contented man.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert continues until Saturday (August 17) with 7.30pm evening performances and a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday.

Herald review page 75