Mum’s the word

Blood Brothers at the Grand Theatre, Leeds...Actress Niki Evans on Stage....20th July 2011.... Picture by Simon Hulme

Blood Brothers at the Grand Theatre, Leeds...Actress Niki Evans on Stage....20th July 2011.... Picture by Simon Hulme

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Being a mum of two lads makes one-time X Factor finalist Niki Evans the perfect fit for her stage role of loving parent.

Being a mum of two lads makes one-time X Factor finalist Niki Evans the perfect fit for her stage role of loving parent.

Niki’s teenage sons may have a charmed life compared to the twins her character Mrs Johnstone gives birth to in the musical Blood Brothers.

But Niki suffers when she’s away from her boys, just like hard-up Mrs Johnstone who hands over one of her lads to another family to give him a better life.

“Any mother will tell you how hard it is to leave their children for an hour, let alone weeks at a time,” she said.

Niki was talking ahead of Blood Brothers’ visit to the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield, a town she is familiar with. She said: “I’ve been to Chesterfield as my older brother Andy Ralph used to play for Chesterfield about 18 years ago. I don’t live far from Derbyshire. I love the Dales and Matlock and riding the Tissington trail.”

She knows the role of Mrs Johnstone inside out, having first taken it on in the West End in 2010 and then on tour.

“This is my fifth leg of touring Mrs Johnstone,” she said. “It’s different in every venue, no two nights are the same.”

Niki has put her own mark on the character by looking close to home. “I have based her on myself as a mum and a little bit of my mum,” she said. “Mrs Johnstone is a very loving mum. I think everyone can see a little bit of their own mum in her.”

She admits that the role is draining. “Some days are harder than others but your body soon gets used to the highs and lows of the part.”

Niki credits her exposure on X Factor in 2009 for giving her a stepping stone to greater things. “I would not be playing this part without it, so I am thankful to it.

“X Factor seems so long ago now, some of it was great and some not. People think that you’ve made it, that you’re loaded and a celeb but that is very different to the reality of it.”

Blood Brothers runs at the Winding Wheel from October 8-13, 2012.