Antony Costa shot to fame in chart topping boy band Blue in early 2000 becoming a huge commercial success in the United Kingdom and many other countries, selling 15 million records worldwide to date, including 3.3 million albums and one million singles in the UK alone.
On stage Costa has played the lead role of Mickey Johnstone in the West End production of Blood Brothers, directed and produced by Bill Kenwright, as well as starring in the 10th anniversary tour of Boogie Nights, the 40th anniversary of The Who’s iconic musical Tommy (Blackpool Opera House), and the critically acclaimed Save the Last Dance for Me UK Tour.
Now, Antony Costa is getting his first taste of straight acting, in Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone but he says it is a challenge he is relishing and, while it can be hard to stave off the boyband image, he is just happy to be doing what he loves.
Tell me how you got involved with the show?
Bill Kenwright phoned me and offered me the role. I was overwhelmed that I would be doing a play. I jumped at the chance to be a part of this show and, touch wood, so far it has been a really positive response. It is a really great ensemble show so I am very chuffed with how it is going.
I just want to be working and I am lucky to be doing what I want to be doing. It is sometimes difficult for singers to get into acting but there are a number of success stories. Look at Kym Marsh and Shayne Ward, you forget they were on the X Factor, and in a band, because they are both doing so well on Coronation Street.
You’ve worked with Bill Kenwright before in Blood Brothers in the West End and in Save the Last Dance For Me, is it nice to be back working for him again, but this time in a play?
Yes, it’s good to be working with Bill again. It has been great so far, and I am learning a lot from the other actors. I actually love it. It is a new development in my career and I am just delighted to be a part of it. It was a natural progression for me and, if people like it, then that’s perfect.
A Judgement in Stone is widely considered to be Ruth Rendell’s greatest work, why do you think that is?
It’s got everything in terms of the psychology as to why the murders took place. When I read the book I was gripped from the very start. Ruth Rendell’s brilliant plot unravels a whole load of deceit, despair and cover-ups which brings a shocking revelation almost as grizzly as murder itself.
People will, of course, know you best from Blue. Will we hear more from the group?
We’ve had a good time with Blue, and we’re still the very best of friends, but there’s no rules about being in a boyband any more. There were back in the day, where you had to release an album every year. We believe we have a good product, a good sound and we offer something different, and that’s what we sell ourselves on. Will we do more? Well… I never say never!
Finally, without giving too much away, why should audiences come and see A Judgement in Stone?
Because it’s got everything, good characters, a good story, some red herrings and loads of great acting.
It’s got the lot!
Antony stars alongside award-winning TV and stage favourite Andrew Lancel, best known to TV audiences for his portrayal of villainous businessman Frank Foster in Coronation Street and for the role of DI Neil Manson in The Bill, and is joined by Sophie Ward who played the beautiful, ill-fated love interest of Young Sherlock Holmes and Dr Helen Trent in long-running ITV drama Heartbeat.
60’s pop-idol Mark Wynter, who since his hit parade days has featured in seven Agatha Christie Company productions, also stars in the show with Deborah Grant, who has starred in Not Going Out and Bergerac. The stellar cast also includes movie icon Shirley Anne Field who became an overnight star in two landmark films, The Entertainer opposite Sir Laurence Olivier, and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning with Albert Finney and Agatha Christie Company stalwart Ben Nealon, whose TV credits include ITV’s award-winning drama Soldier Soldier.
A Judgement in Stone appears at the Hawth, Crawley from Monday 22nd May until Saturday 27th May with nightly performances at 7.30pm and Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets can be booked online on www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/The-Hawth or by calling 01293 553636.