Rocker swaps stadium for the world of panto


Festival Choir performs the Passion

Have your say

HE’S supported Bon Jovi and heard 20,000 people clapping along to his old band at a huge concert.

But Warren Bailey has swapped stadium rock for the world of pantomime in his home village of Southwick.

Director Warren Bailey with the Spare Part Players

Director Warren Bailey with the Spare Part Players

Mr Bailey’s band Rainstar were hand picked by megastar Jon Bon Jovi as the winners of a competition for a support slot at the American rockers’ St Mary’s Stadium gig in 2006.

And although the Portsmouth-based band hoped the show would be their big break, it was not to be, and they eventually called it a day.

Mr Bailey has now written and directed the Spare Part Players new pantomime, which will be performed tonight at the D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick, near Fareham.

The pantomime, named Billy the Liar, is about a character called Willy Fibber and features songs about spaghetti and worms as well as a sing-along entitled Shuzzbum Tickletum.

Recalling the Bon Jovi gig, Mr Bailey, 43, said: ‘That concert was a great day. We were quite confident about what we did but didn’t really know what to expect.

‘One of our songs had a break-down where we would get the audience to clap along.

‘We thought it might be a bit arrogant to try that in front of a crowd like this, but then we thought what the hell – and it worked.

‘We had 20,000 people clapping along.

‘It still gives me goosebumps now.’

As he returned to normal life, Mr Bailey became more involved in the players’ productions – a troupe which most of his family has been involved in at some point.

‘I would help them out with bits and pieces,’ he said.

‘In the past we would get a script in and we were changing scenes around, so I just decided to do the whole thing.

‘This is the first panto I’ve done from scratch. I have enjoyed it, it’s about bringing something to life.

‘I’ve already written half of a script for next year.’

Tickets cost £4 for adults, £2 for children and doors open at 7pm.