Singing WAGs step onto the stage

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Real footballers' wives and girlfriends put their lives under the spotlight in a new musical

You would think they had enough drama in their lives, what with the cars, the cash and the paparazzi. But from tomorrow, the WAGs are taking to the stage to perform a musical rendition of life as a footballer's plus one. Yes, it's WAG! The Musical.

Jessica Lawlor is belting out a hearty number when The Independent on Sunday drops in on rehearsals. She's no Joan Sutherland, but she is engaged to Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland. And to be fair, the lyrics are rather good: "I really have a heart, let that be known. / I once sponsored an elephant, in Sierra Leone... or was it a child?"

We're in a studio basement in east London. Hardly glamorous, but then, they're not doing it for the glitz – they've got plenty of that already. "I want to do something for myself. I want to achieve things," Lawlor says. "I don't feel that I'm just a WAG and that I'm someone who sits at home and goes on Net-a-porter all day. It's not enough and it's not how I want to live." In the show, Jessica plays WAG Victoria, whom she describes as "over-the-top and bitchy". But this is not a reflection of real life, she insists. "[WAGs] are a massive stereotype that the media created," she says. "A lot of them had careers before they met their husbands. Some of them must have talent!"

WAG is an acronym for Wives and Girlfriends and entered common parlance during the 2006 World Cup.

The musical has been created by Karen Struel-White, 50, a theatrical producer whose father, Malcolm Struel, was chairman of Swansea FC in the 1970s. Lawlor has no previous experience of the stage, though her co-star, Pippa Fulton, has a degree in musical theatre and was a contestant on the BBC's Fame Academy. She's going out with Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson. Behind the scenes, Heather Swan, who divorced former Cardiff City player Michael Chopra, is on hand as technical director.

Why does Lawlor think WAGs stick together? "Being in the same industry, you understand that your husband or your boyfriend plays away a lot," she says. She means geographically, of course. "You all become friends, and your kids go to the same schools."

Struel-White told a newspaper: "They're WAGs but they're also talented ladies. We had a full audition back in January and we did have hundreds of would-be actresses. But Jessica and Pippa, who are official WAGs, were fantastic and it was an easy task to give them the roles they have got."

Though many people may not have heard of the show's "official WAGs", Lawlor is bona fide, as her white Bentley convertible confirms. And yet, she insists, she is no different from the average 26-year-old. "I hear people say 'she's so normal' and I'm thinking – 'what do you expect me to be like?'"

'WAG! The Musical' is at Ye Olde Rose & Crown pub, Walthamstow, to 23 June

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tv 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there