Wham! tribute night in Dartford will wake you up

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 June 2019

The Wham! tribute comes to the Orchard Theatre on June 26. Picture: Sweeney Entertainments

The Wham! tribute comes to the Orchard Theatre on June 26. Picture: Sweeney Entertainments


Club Tropicana coming to the Orchard Theatre in Dartford? It certainly is, but we have it on good authority the drinks are not free.

The Young Guns in action. Picture: Sweeney EntertainmentsThe Young Guns in action. Picture: Sweeney Entertainments

But this Wham! tribute night should take you back to when the lads re-shaped pop music. Amazingly, it really is now 37 years since they burst onto the scene.

And they are all back together again, sort of - George, Andrew and of course Pepsi and Shirlie.

In just four years, Wham! sold more than 28million records, topping the charts with three albums, four No.1 singles and 11 top 10 hits.

They featured in the Live Aid concert of 1985 and were the first western pop group to tour in China.

George lives on in Best of Wham! Picture: Sweeney EntertainmentsGeorge lives on in Best of Wham! Picture: Sweeney Entertainments

Their impact and influence on the 80s era and music today really cannot be over-emphasised.

This Best of Wham! Show includes all those hits, a few B side favourites and a couple of early George Michael bonus songs.

George had a real voice. He even did a sensational job as Freddie Mercury, and no one can do that.

With George's tragic death three years ago, it is down to concert show star Ben Evans, and he's pretty darn good.

He's had plenty of time to get into George Michael's soul - Ben started his career at the age of eight performing in roles including Gavroche in Les Miserables, and both the roles of Oliver and The Artful Dodger in Oliver!

His career has continued with appearances in a host of TV programmes including lead roles in: Casualty, Teachers, Waking The Dead and most notably, creating the role of 'Charlie Jenkins' in BBC Wales hit comedy 'High Hopes' which he starred in for six seasons and further West End performances that include Mamma Mia! as well as the role of 'Sam Wise

You may also want to watch:

Gamgee' in The Lord Of The Rings.

This is an authentic musical journey that truly recaptures the full Wham! Experience as a non-stop 80s party will get audiences singing and dancing to all the greatest hits including Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Freedom and I'm your Man.

Ben said: "This is to celebrate the life and music of George Michael and Wham!

"We wanted to show George in his prime years and celebrate his beginnings with Wham!

"They were four friends who shook up the music industry and broke millions of hearts all over the world.

"It's been just over 30 years since Wham performed their final concert together at Wembley and it's been way too long to be away from their amazing fans so we hope to bring that feeling back to everyone.

"At certain points during the show I can feel that he's there with me, hopefully I'm doing him proud. The audience reactions are also something that I'll never get over and getting to meet everyone after the show is something really special.

"Luckily, being a massive Wham! and George Michael fan I already knew all of the material and thankfully I was chosen to take on the role of George.

"I started rehearsals in June 2018, but my mother would tell you that I've been preparing for this role all my life. During rehearsals my biggest aim was to get the instantly recognisable physicality and moves of George, obviously Wham! had their trademark dance routines. I thought I'd hung up my dancing shoes a long time ago."

He even went to see the real Wham! Live.

Ben said: "My sister and I were lucky enough to see George live at Wembley on his Freedom 25 Tour. He sang Freedom '90 three times as they were filming for the DVD."

The Best of Wham! is at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford on June 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets £28.50 with possible fees from the box office 01322 220000.

Book online at

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter