Going to see this on Friday.....http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/eve/J ... 6055495.jp
Stephanie Ridings was travelling by train, listening to her iPod, when a
Dusty Springfield number sparked her imagination.
It led her on a journey of discovery finishing in a one-woman stage play - Me, Mum & Dusty Springfield.
The Blackpool actor explains: " I was listening to Dusty Springfield, not that I am a particular fan, and thought what a fantastic way to end a show - with a Dusty number. First I had to find a way to get to that, I'm not a trained singer, so I started at the end and worked from there."
Nor did Stephanie know much about the Sixties sensation, who in the six-year period between 1963 and 1969- had 17 UK chart entries of which 10 were top ten singles.
The 1966 hit song which inspired Stephanie, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, went to the No One slot and remained in the UK charts for 13 weeks.
As a playwright and actor, Stephanie embarked on a fact-finding mission to gain her own insight into the life and career of the iconic singer who died of breast cancer in 1999.
"Her life was so full of colour and incident that it gave me loads to work with," she said.
The result is Me, Mum & Dusty Springfield, which comes to Manchester's Lowry Studio this weekend, starring Stephanie as Mary, a young woman who is getting ready for the scattering of her mother's ashes.
The Dusty link is down to her mother's dying wish – or demand. Mary's life was filled with her mother's demands set within a world of Dusty Springfield. Not just Dusty's songs, but Dusty-like outbursts, Dusty-like drinking and finally her breast cancer.
As Mary applies the thick layers of make-up – Dusty's trademark look learnt after years of watching her mother do the same – she tries to unravel the ties that bind herself, her mother and Dusty Springfield, in the hope that this final act will enable her to move on.
It's a black comedy, peppered with Dusty lyrics and the odd song or two."In a way there's something very liberating about make-up so thick, and the blonde wig, they are something to hide behind," said Stephanie, a natural brunette.
Performing a one-woman show, which she has written herself, puts tremendous pressure on the performer.
"The buck stops with me, there is no-one else, so it just has to be the best it can possibly be every time - that's what drives me," she said.
Stephanie, who grew up in Layton where her mum and dad, Margaret and Chris, still live, was educated at St Mary's School, Blackpool.
She started dancing as a little girl with the Sue Turner Dance School and then went on to Phil Winston's Theatreworks.
As a dancer she got to perform in shows in every Blackpool theatre, but eventually decided to take her career in a different direction as an actor and writer, studying for a performing arts degree at University of Central Lancashire.
At 33, her list of stage credits is varied from theatre performances to television. On the small screen she has popped up in commercials for Hovis and Kellogg's, plus the odd appearance in Coronation Street and Holyoakes.
Now based in Manchester, where she lives with her fiance Tom Langford, Stephanie is taking Mum, Me and Dusty Springfield on the road .
A hit on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, it is in Manchester at the weekend followed by dates in New Milton, Rotherham and Kendal.
Her parents will get to see as many performances as they can. "They come to see me every time I am nearby," she said.
Her tour will take her into May and afterwards she plans to concentrate on more writing. "I think I'm now more inclined towards writing, although I do enjoy my acting."
* Me, Mum & Dusty Springfield is at The Lowry Studio Theatre, Salford, on Friday and Saturday, 7.45pm, visit http://www.thelowry.com
or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.