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East Ham lecturer turns to WAGs for musical success

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 May 2012 | UPDATED: 16:14 31 May 2012

Rehearsal: Belinda Owusu, Pippa Fulton and Jessica Lawlor prepare for their performances

Rehearsal: Belinda Owusu, Pippa Fulton and Jessica Lawlor prepare for their performances

Ingrid Abraham

Euro 2012 is almost upon us, so a look back at the England football team’s mixed recent tournament record is inevitable.

Fabio Capello’s sterile boot camp in South Africa, a golden generation that turned out to be more rusted copper, and various goalkeeping fumbles count among the bad memories.

But it was the presence of the footballer’s wives and girlfriends (WAGs) in Germany in 2006 that copped some of the blame for that year’s disappointment.

While the fortunes of their husbands have yet to scale heights on the international stage, the WAGs have spawned an entire industry.

And now they are hitting the stage, in WAG! the Musical, the brainchild of an East Ham university lecturer.

Belvedere Pashun, of Burges Road, said he was delighted when Jessica Lawlor, partner of Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland, and Pippa Fulton, girlfriend of Brentford frontman Clayton Donaldson turned up for auditions in Walthamstow.

“When we were first looking for actors I think in terms of an ideal scenario we would have liked to have cast a (WAG),” he said. “But we were doing the auditions for a fringe production in the back of an East End pub.

“Jessica’s agent saw the advert on Spotlight (an actors’ job website), Pippa ended up getting a part of one of the other characters of the play.”

The musical revolves around the lives of two single mothers, played by ex-EastEnders actress Belinda Owusu and Fulton, who work on the cosmetics counter of a busy department store. Lawlor draws on all her experience to play a WAG shopper, coming in “for about a third” of the play.

Belvedere insists it was their CVs as well as their marital status that landed them the roles but conceded that it helped.

“They impressed us in the auditions and they had done drama work before,” he said. “But Jessica is very much aware of what it is like to be in the public eye.”

Belvedere also admitted that it has helped with publicity: “The attention we have had has been incredible, I don’t think we would have had it if we the roles had been played by any other woman.

“I think it helps that we are performing so close to Essex!”

WAG! The Musical’s initial run takes place between June 4 and June 23, at the Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub, in Hoe Street, E17 4SA,

June 4, 6, 7, 15, and 23 have sold out.

It is produced by KSW Prdouctions. Tickets cost £15. Visit www.wagthemusical.com for more.


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