Former Manchester City, Wrexham and Northern Ireland midfielder Jim Whitley has exchanged his football boots for tap shoes in comedy musical Crooners.
The show, which is due to hit Buxton Opera House on August 26, sees jim pay homage to his crooner heroes Sammy Davis Jr, Matt Monro and Bobby Darin.
When injury cut short Jim’s football career he jumped on the chance to get back to his love for music and rekindle his previous experience as a singer.
His love for swing music, The Rat Pack and the Great American Song book soon saw Jim become one of the UK’s most in demand crooners on the theatre circuit,
Crooners includes more than 20 all-time classic crooner songs such as Mr. Bojangles, L.O.V.E, Mac The Knife and Beyond The Sea and features one of the best modern big bands in the UK, The Mini Big Band.
Jim said: “This is music from a time where men had style and charisma and could sing, dance, and joke like the best of them. What a time for music.”
His footballing feet have fared him well in his transition from football to theatre and he puts them to good practice in an extended Fred Astaire inspired tap dance routine feature.
Jim admitted “I’ve always admired flair and showmanship of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, so I bought some tap shoes! Now, it’s the highlight of my night”
He plays a suave, confident and charismatic English gentleman, completely at ease with the role of a Crooner in this modern world; although things don’t always work out.
Whitley says. “We’re playing the music of all the greats, completely live, with an ace band, and throwing in some British comedy that’s had me rolling around in laughter”
Tickets for Crooners are priced at £23. Call 01298 72190 or go to www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk