The Matt Monro Story will be brought to life at The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, on Sunday, February 19 (7.30pm), by his son, Matt Monro Junior.
Matt celebrates the life of his father using audio and visual techniques, as well as his own anecdotes, in an unforgettable show that keeps the memory of Matt Monro and his music alive.
“Probably this show started 20 years ago, but really it has taken a year and a half to put it together,” says Matt.
“This is not a normal tour in any way. This is not just me singing my father’s songs and some of my own material. This is the complete life story, from birth to death, no holds barred.
“I realised that even the staunch Matt Monro fans knew nothing about Matt Monro. They just loved his music. I wanted them to know something about Matt Monro the man. A lady narrates the show, and there are videos and home-made clips.
“He died in February 1985 (aged 54), and I certainly don’t think of Matt Monro as a singer. I think of him as my dad. He comes across in the show through the stories and the interaction with me through video which we do on stage, and I think it comes across just how home-based he was. I remember when I was a professional golfer, he would not take shows because he wanted to come and see me in golf tournaments.”
Golf was a special connection: “It was the only time in my life that I got him to myself. He was not a particularly-good golfer. I was better than him, and here was Matt Monro, who got all that attention, on the golf course with me. He was just my humble dad.
“He was born in Shoreditch in the east end of London. He could not read or write when he left school. He had a cockney accent. But when he became famous, he never forgot where he came from. He taught us great values, that you should treat people how you would want them to treat you, that if you had a roof over your head, you were a rich man. His view was that gold-plated Rolls Royces would not make you a man. He knew what really mattered.
“His peers would say that he was the most generous, nicest man off stage. He took time for everybody no matter who they were. He was such a down-to-earth man, and I had a normal childhood. I went to normal schools. I went to a private school when I was 13 for the last few years, but my education was very normal.”
As for the music: “Sinatra said he was one of the three greatest singers in the world. I didn’t realise how good my dad was until after he died. It was his breath control, his diction. He could hold a note longer than I have ever seen anyone hold a note. And he just had this quality in his voice. You could fall asleep to it. It was so relaxed, so smooth. He just had wonderful, wonderful tone. He had the X factor. He had something special. He spent his time in the charts alongside The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Sinatra… and for a boy from Shoreditch, that was a pretty good achievement.”
Tickets cost £22.50.
Call 01293 553636.
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