Antony Costa shot to fame as a member of boy band Blue. He talked to Hannah Butt about coming to
Southsea to play Aladdin in the Kings pantomime.
This has been a year of highs and lows for Antony Costa, who is starring in this year’s Kings Theatre pantomime in the title role of Aladdin.
As part of the pop quartet Blue, Antony has sold more than 15 million records worldwide – three million of those in the UK – and scored hits with the likes of One Love, All Rise and Guilty.
The band initially split in 2004 after four years of chart success, before reuniting in 2009 and have toured and recorded periodically since then.
But three of the group, all bar Lee Ryan, have reportedly been declared bankrupt.
In August though, Antony became a father for the second time when his fiancee Rosanna Jasmin gave birth to their daughter, Savannah.
Now Antony is looking forward to getting to grips with the Kings panto, where he’s appearing alongside X Factor stars Jade Ellis and Kitty Brucknell, as well as former Hollyoaks star and Gosport native Marcus Patrick, who will be returning after playing The Huntsman in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2012.
Also joining the cast in Southsea are Aiden J Harvey as Wishee Washee, Jack Edwards as Abanazar, Phil Randall as Widow Twankey and Christopher Marlowe as the Empress of China.
‘I’m really excited to come to the Kings,’ says Antony.
‘It’s a new theatre for me, so it will be great to see what Portsmouth has to give.
‘It is a great theatre and a great production so I’m really excited.
‘Pantomimes are fun, light-hearted and perfect for all aged, from eight months old to 80.’
This isn’t Antony’s first crack at panto – he’s done several before, Jack and the Beanstalk in Ipswich over the 2009 festive period among them.
He says: ‘If something goes wrong on stage I will probably laugh. I was playing Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk and the giant was in the middle of a scene – he went to do a spin and he fell over and I cracked up laughing. Getting through the rest of the production was difficult.
‘I love pantos, I’ve done a few in the past 10 years. They are great fun and great family entertainment and it’s Christmas time so it’s great.’
He adds: ‘I have played Aladdin before and it was a part I absolutely loved. The audience love this play and for me portraying Aladdin the way I want to is great.’
‘All of the cast seem really nice and I know we will all get on. I have worked with Jack (Edwards) before, who is playing Abanazar, in Beauty and the Beast which was good fun.’
It’s not just pantos that have seen Anthony treading the boards though – he’s also been in a fair bit of musical theatre, including Blood Brothers in the West End and the 10th anniversary touring version of Boogie Nights.
‘I’ve done a few musicals before,’ he explains.
‘One that is very close to my heart is Blood Brothers where I played Mickey Johnston.
‘That was in the West End for a year and I toured with it too.
‘That is probably the best part I have ever had, but it’s completely different to pantomimes as it is a completely different feeling and I like them all equally.
‘When you are acting you are playing a character and that is something I enjoy doing. I love getting a script and reading it, and really getting into the zone with it. You can be anyone you want as long as you are true to yourself and you portray the character. You can do it how you think fits.’
Although he says he’s enjoying the challenges of being on stage, Antony revealed that he does miss having his bandmates (pictured) alongside him.
‘When you are in a band like Blue you are with your three best mates on stage with you, so it is difficult to create this individual character.
‘Sometimes I wish the boys were on stage with me as it is strange doing the solo thing sometimes.
‘They have all said that they are going to come down and watch me so that would be great.
‘I do miss the boys when I work on a pantomime but I get a new panto family with the cast that are involved.’
It looks like he won’t be missing out on a family Christmas though – Rosanna and their baby will be coming down from London to join him on the south coast.
He reveals: ‘My new daughter Savannah will come down with her mum and we’re going to spend Christmas down here.’
Anthony’s not the only Blue boy keeping busy at the moment.
His bandmate Simon Webbe is currently riding high as one of the favourites on BBC1’s ratings winner Strictly Come Dancing, where he has made it to the quarter-finals with partner Kristina Rihanoff.
And Duncan James is taking the lead at Birmingham Hippodrome’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk.
Despite the guys being involved with their various projects, the band is still very much a going concern.
They recently completed a major tour dubbed The Big Reunion, with other reformed boybands, including 911, 5ive and Damage, and they have their own 15-date tour, which includes a stop-off at Portsmouth Guildhall, next spring.
‘I am quite busy with Blue at the moment too,’ explains Antony.
‘We have an album coming out next year and we’ve also been touring .
‘There are no rules in being in a band, which is great. In Blue we all respect each other and it means if we want to go off and do individual events, it wouldn’t affect the band.’
...bandmate Lee Ryan in Celebrity Big Brother 2014
Lee’s a good lad – I wouldn’t be in a band with him for 14 years if he wasn’t – he’s got a heart of gold. For him CBB wasn’t a career suicide.
...his new daughter Savannah
When I sing, she stops crying and is literally mesmerised by music. I’m a huge Sinatra fan and sang One For My Baby to her in hospital a few hours after she was born and she loved it.
...being targeted by online trolls
I was scared. I understand that working in my job means that you can be a target for trolls, but this was disgusting. The police were called and they came to my home and made sure we were protected.