Singing WAGs step onto the stage
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 & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.