Jason Donovan is making the most of his Midlife Crisis with a tour in Morecambe and Southport
Back in the 80s, Jason Donovan became a household name when playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours.
And it was not long before he firmly established a music career, releasing his first solo hit Nothing Can Divide us in 1988.
His real-life romance with former Neighbours co-star Kylie Minogue was every fan’s dream as they watched the pair play lovers Scott and Charlene in the soap.
Eventually the price of fame caught up with Donovan and his desire to shake-off his clean-cut heart-throb image resulted in him famously collapsing during a cocaine-fuelled binge at Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ party and passing out on top of Jack Nicholson.
Never too afraid to speak about his past, which has had its incredible highs and lows, Donovan is ready to share his journey with hardcore fans during his intimate Midlife Crisis Tour, which hits The Platform in Morecambe on March 29 and The Atkinson in Southport on March 28.
The show will examine every aspect of his life, from where he began to where he is today as he revisits his past, present and future.
He admits to being ‘brutally honest’ on stage, shattering any illusions of the ‘teen heart-throb.’
The show will be a rare chance to get up close and personal with the star and will offer an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.
Donovan will also perform a couple of stripped back acoustic versions of his classic hits.
He explains: “I had a big birthday this year as I turned 50 and I thought it was a unique opportunity to put out a tour. I wanted something that was not necessarily about me singing the whole time. It is about me as a person and what makes me tick.
“I have had a broad career, with singing, acting and doing reality shows. So when I am on TV doing interviews with the likes of BBC Breakfast, Loose Women and GMB, you don’t always get the chance to chat properly.
“I think people are interested in the reality of it all.
“I talk about fame, how I got into the business, my passion for performing and my anxieties and insecurities.
“I discuss my dad, Terence Donovan, who was also in Neighbours and I have some funny anecdotes about what has happened in my career.
“I am quite honest and I do talk about how I lost my way in the 1990s.
“I have tried to be very open about it. I talk about my family, as I have three kids and I also talk about how much influence Kylie had on me and my singing.”
Recent media reports had suggested Donovan was a little too open about his relationship with Kylie, which had angered the pop princess, but this is something he denies.
He says: “I haven’t read the article but heard about it and thought it was hilarious
“It all comes from a source but I would like to know what that source is. Is it tomato, HP or mayonnaise?
“That has not come from any of my camps.
“All I would say is come and see the show and you will get all the answer to those questions.”
The pair appeared on good terms earlier last month as he joined Kylie on stage at Hyde Park to do an impromptu duet of their classic 1988 hit, Especially For You.
Donovan adds: “That was purely spontaneous. The night before her gig I messaged her to say ‘good luck and hope it goes well’ and she said come down and sing Especially For You so I did. I thought why not?
“I would have liked to have done a bit more singing to be honest, but my concern was that it was spontaneous.
“You can’t not rehearse something like that and there would be a lot of expectation from it. So we made the decision that I would do the dance routine. It was just a bit of fun. I just had to make sure I didn’t drop her as that would not have gone down every well. Luckily my time on Strictly Come Dancing helped me.”
After Donovan’s life spiralled out of control in the 1990s, he took on a job which ultimately changed his life.
In 1998, he took the lead role of Dr Frank N Furter in the UK touring production of The Rocky Horror Show, where he met stage manager Angela Malloch. She later gave birth to his first child, which forced him to re-evaluate his life and kick his drug habit.
They got married and he reinvigorated his career on reality TV programmes I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! and Strictly Come Dancing.
He re-found his love of performing with leading roles in Sweeney Todd, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds, and The Sound of Music. He also toured the UK in the highly acclaimed play The King’s Speech.
And now he is in a much happier place, he is looking forward to taking a step back in time and going back to the beginning.
He adds: “It is the right time to do it. I did enjoy the West End tours but doing eight shows a week is exhausting and it was hard being away from my family.
“When I first embarked upon this Midlife Crisis Tour, I did not expect to get such an amazing response. If I’m honest I didn’t think anyone would be interested in my life story. But it’s so humbling to be selling out at theatres across the country. My fans are the best.
“In the past I’ve either been too young, too busy or too dazed and confused to be able to make sense my life.
“But now, I am older and wiser. I believe that I am finally in a position to put my life into perspective. I’m in a great place, surrounded by good people and don’t feel like I need to prove myself any more.”
Donovan knows he cannot escape fans’ expectations about his time in Neighbours and he will no doubt discuss how that has had a huge impact on his life.
After he left the show, he went on to score 16 hit singles, selling more than 30 million records worldwide and took the leading role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
He admits: “The 80s was a great period and a wonderful time in my life. I have never shied away from saying that.
“I am sure Kylie and Guy Pearce who were all associated with Neighbours at that time will agree it was an incredibly unique opportunity and it launched so many careers.
“But that should not define a career and that is the only point I want to make.
“The mere fact people don’t call me Scott Robinson any more is a testament to what I have done beyond that.”
Towards the end of the show, fans can have their chance to grill Donovan even further.
He adds: “I try to encourage that and there is a bit of a question and answer session. But that does not drive the whole show. It is important the audience feel part of the show.”
Due to public demand, Donovan has announced extra dates for his Midlife Crisis Tour, and tickets are on sale now via www.jasondonovan.com.
Or to go through the venues visit www.uk.patronbase.com/_ThePlatform/Productions/JAS/Performances, (£27.50 plus £1.50 booking fee), or www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/jason-donovan-2019/ (£27.50 plus £1 booking fee).
Donovan is also touring with War of the Worlds. He will be at Manchester Arena on December 2 and Liverpool Echo Arena on December 5.
For tickets, visit www.livenation.co.uk/artist/jeff-wayne-s-musical-version-of-the-war-of-the-worlds-tickets.