The sound of Julie: Singer’s tribute to British icon

IF one of your favourite things is the music of Dame Julie Andrews then you are in for a treat in Mossley next month.

But when A Spoonful of Julie comes to the George Lawton Hall stage on Saturday, April 18 don’t expect to see Nicola Mills dressed as Mary Poppins or Eliza Doolittle.

Nicola Mills

“It is not that kind of tribute,” said Nicola of the near two-hour show that had its premiere in January.

“It is very much a people’s show,” explained the former Oldham Music Centre student from Lees.

“I will be singing her best-known songs that have been especially arranged and there will be some sing-along moments too.

“But I will also be telling stories about Julie’s life, many I didn’t realise until I started researching, and chatting to the audience.

“I have loved Julie Andrews since I was a kid and my cousin introduced me to musicals.

“It is such lovely music and makes me feel happy. I just had a gut instinct that this is something I just had to do.

“We’ve all loved Julie for years and it’s good to honour her and be able to pass our love of her songs onto others.”

Nicola, a trained opera singer who has performed in opera houses around Europe, spent time in America researching the life of Dame Julie, now 84 and feted as one of Britain’s most iconic singers and actresses.

A Spoonful of Julie starts its full nationwide tour on March 6 in Bury and also takes in Holmfirth Civic Hall on April 17.

The music has been arranged by Stuart Barham, the musical director of Cats with Elaine Paige who worked in the West End for years.

Nicola added: “The plan is for the show to go round the UK and then take it to America.”

Born in Walton on Thames, Dame Julie made her Broadway debut in 1954 in The Boyfriend.

She rose to prominence by starring in musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot before making her feature film debut in Mary Poppins in 1964. 

Playing the title role she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and then won the Golden Globe award for Best Actress for her part of Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music.

In more recent times Julie had a central role in the Shrek series as Queen Lillian and Marlena in the Despicable Me series. In 2000 she became a Dame.

“The closest I came to meeting Julie was at the Royal Festival Hall last November,” said Nicola, who is also busy with her other project, Opera for the People.

“She had just brought out a new autobiography and I really wanted to see her.” 

It all sounds supercalifragilisticexpialidocious so for more information visit www.iamnicolamills.com or for show tickets call Gary: 07741 782876.

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