Interview – Sam Bailey – a passion for musical theatre leads to dream West End concert


Sam Bailey will perform an evening of musical theatre songs at the Lyric Theatre on 12 October

SAM BAILEY, the 2013 winner of X Factor, is to perform a one-off concert of musical theatre songs, Sam Bailey – Live in the West End, at London’s Lyric Theatre on 12 October, with guest stars including Collabro, Michael Xavier and Scott Alan. She talked to Ollie Wilson about the show and her love of musical theatre.

How did your love of musical theatre start?

I have had a massive passion for musical theatre ever since I was in my teens. Someone years and year ago took me to Les Misérables. I was unsure because it was about the French Revolution and I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it. Eighteen shows later, I was totally addicted. Any time I was not doing anything at a weekend, I would go to see a show and would often pay for the person coming with me. It cost me a fortune!

Did your friends grow to love musical theatre?

Yes, going to the West End shows changed them like it changed me. My husband is a proper lad but now he is a massive musical theatre lover. I took him to see Les Mis and it became his favourite show. Secretly, he plays Les Mis when he is out in his car. He will hate me for telling you that! I take friends with me because I love musical theatre so much I want my friends to believe in it like I do. They end up seeing how amazing it is. I feel I have done the West End justice over the years by passing on the culture to people who previously were not open-minded about it.


Sam Bailey will sing a Scott Alan number, accompanied by the composer himself

What in particular excites you about musical theatre?

It is that the songs are not just songs. They are acted out and you go “wow” and have tears in your eyes. There are some amazing songs in the West End and to be given the opportunity to sing them in a show at the Lyric Theatre is incredible.

How did Sam Bailey – Live in the West End come about?

It was suggested by Simon Mayhew from the Oxford Adams agency. Simon said to me: “How would you feel about doing a show in the West End?” Well, there is a social club in Leicester called the ‘West End’ so I said: “I have done it!” Simon said: “No, not that West End. The West End down in London!”

How did you react to that?

I went: “WHAT? Could that happen?” He said: “We could put a show together and it would be big,” and I said: “Wow! It would be incredible if people wanted to come and perform with me.”

How many songs will you be performing in the show?

There are going to be 18 to 20 songs in total.

MAIN 1down1000Which are your favourites?

I can’t give too much away. I am a big fan of the musical Wicked so there may be a song from there. And the wonderful Scott Alan is coming over from New York. He has a fantastic repertoire of songs that he’s written and there is one I’ll be performing with the wonderful Collabro, with Scott on the piano. It will be phenomenal. I can’t wait to sing with those guys on a Scott Alan song. It is like having Christmas and Easter all in one go! I am so excited about it.

Which song is it?

I can’t say which song but any Scott Alan fan out there will know I have performed this song for him before. If you type ‘Sam Bailey’ and ‘Scott Alan’ into YouTube, it will come up [‘Anything Worth Holding On To’].

You must be really looking forward to this concert.

Yes, it is an incredible opportunity for me. I will be able to show people in the musical theatre business what I can do. I would love to be cast in a West End musical. It is a dream of mine. It’s on my bucket list!

Ollie Wilson runs MatchFit Media, providing copywriting, journalism and PR.


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