Playhouse 2 return strikes right chord with musician Gareth

AS a musician of international repute, Gareth Moulton is a regular jet setter.

Next month, for example, the lead guitarist with 1980s chart toppers Cutting Crew is off to Australia and Japan.But his adopted home town of Shaw will always have a special place in Gareth’s affections, especially as it was here the germ of an idea for Fly Half, a co-collaboration with Gary Lagden, was conceived.

Mind you that was nearly a decade ago and it is only in more recent times, the words and music have lifted off the page and transformed into an hour-long two man play.

The wait, however, appears to have been worthwhile with a five-star review from the British Theatre Guide among the complimentary reviews.

However, a local audience can judge for itself on Friday, October 25 when Fly Half – a lyrical hymn to one man’s passion for his family, his town and his beloved game of rugby – touches down at Playhouse 2 as part of the Studio Production series.

Hulme Grammar educated Gareth told the Correspondent: “It is about union but it could be about any working-class game and the way it has changed in the last 20 to 30 years.

“It is about how sports, including football, have been taken out of the working classes.
“We have performed it at rugby league clubs and they have loved it.

“We weren’t sure how it would be received but it has gone down a storm across the board.

“We have been talking about it since I lived in Shaw which is a good 10 years ago.

“We have been performing it for 18 months to two years now and hopefully going to be rolling it out across the UK next year.”

As a budding guitarist, Gareth played a number of solo shows at Playhouse 2. He even appeared in a charity show of Monty Python sketches .

“Acting though isn’t really my metier,” says Gareth whose other musical credits include working with Mancunian electronic group 808 State, Heather Small and M People and singer/songwriter Jim Diamond.

“I started playing classical guitar when I was 12 and then started working in bands when I was 16,” explained Gareth.

“I actually side-stepped university and ended up going straight into work.

“I got a job in a band over the summer between leaving school and going to university.

“I was going to do a music degree but because I was working already I thought I might as well just carry on because this is what I want to do anyway.

“It is still my day job,” added Gareth, who has been Cutting Crew’s lead guitarist for about 20 years.

“I still do Rewind festivals and things like that. We are off to Australia when we finish these Fly Half dates with Cutting Crew and Wang Chung (of dance hall days fame), to tour with Go West and Flock of Seagulls.”

But Gareth hasn’t forgotten Shaw or his musical roots. He is also godfather to the son of Craig Fletcher, brother of Oldham music legend Morgan.

“I used to play with him back in the day,” laughed Gareth, whose play sold out at the renowned Hull Truck Theatre earlier this year.

• Tickets for Fly Half (£10) can be bought online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/playhouse2 or from A Shaw Thing, 35 Market Street, Shaw, OL2 8NR, tel: 01706 841697.

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