CHESTERFIELD: Mark Wynter on his way to Winding Wheel

Mark Wynter
Mark Wynter
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How far would a fan go in pursuit of their idol? Try halfway around the world!

Two grans in their seventies stunned former teenage pop pin-up Mark Wynter by travelling from Australia to watch him perform in England.

They flew in from Melbourne to see him in the musical Dreamboats and Petticoats watching four performances in Cambridge and then travelling up to Leicester to watch every night of the show.

Mark said: “It’s amazing - I find it almost unbelievable that people will travel that far to see the show. One came as a 70th birthday treat from her children.”

Hero worship has longevity in Australia where Mark scored two number ones in the Sixties with Dream Girl and Exclusively Yours. Both eclipsed his best-seller in England, Venus In Blue Jeans, which hit number 4.

Fortunately fans in Derbyshire won’t have to travel across the globe to see Mark singing his songs, including It’s Almost Tomorrow and Go Away Little Girl, in the musical which has teenage ambition and romance at its heart,

Dreamboats and Petticoats is heading for Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel on its five-month tour of the country.

In the musical, Mark plays Phil Croft, who runs a youth club and is the dad of an aspiring singer-songwriter. It conjures up memories of his own formative years, when he was spotted, at the age of 16, singing in a dance hall by Ray Mackender who became his manager.

Mark said: “This is deja vu for me. It is an opportunity for me to sing stuff from my original beginnings when I had the potential but never envisaged anything would happen.”

He said: “It is an unusual show with a magic ingredient, a feelgood show which is full of young people who are multi-talented.

“In this day and age with global problems, people want to come out and enjoy themselves rather than going to see darker musicals like Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, brilliant though they are.”

It’s his acting career which has given Mark long-running success. His credits include West End musicals such as Cats and Phantom of the Opera, regional productions of Shakespeare’s Henry V and Romeo and Juliet, television series Call In On Wynter and A Tale of Two Rivers and film roles in Just For Fun and Superman to name a few.

Mark has travelled the world, performing in musicals and comedies in the Far East, Australia, South Africa, America and Canada.

“My greatest achievement is longevity and versatility,” he said. “I have been very lucky. I have been offered opportunities and I have been able to take on challenges that have been successful.”

This will be Mark’s third visit to Chesterfield. He starred alongside Taggart’s Mark McManus in Mr Fothergill’s Murder in 1988 and played Mr Bennett in Pride and Prejudice in 2000. He said: “I remember the church clock near the theatre striking the hour which added dramatic impact.”

Dreamboats and Petticoats runs at the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield, from September 30 to October 5, 2013.