MAUREEN NOLAN broke one taboo last year when speaking openly about her facelift, now she hopes to break another on stage.
The 64-year-old singer and actor is starring in Menopause The Musical, which begins an extensive tour of Scotland this week, and says she hopes it helps women.
“The show is saying to women that they are not alone,” Maureen said. “We can scream about this but also have a laugh about it.
“Each of the four characters in the show is different but with the menopause we are all on the same level, and that is also the same for the audience. Whatever you are going through in life, we are all in the same position.
“I hope that a play like this helps to dispel the taboo, because people still talk in hushed tones about it.
“Men are welcome to come along – although we don’t get many – but every man who has seen it loves it. Comedy is comedy, and they all have a wife or a mother or a sister, so they can still identify with it.”
Maureen made headlines last July when she revealed the results of a £7,500 facelift live on ITV show Loose Women, much to the chagrin of her sister, Coleen.
“Again, that was such a taboo,” Maureen continued. “You maintain a car, so why not maintain yourself? Especially the business I’m in.
“I don’t think such a big deal should be made of it. I never wanted to change my look – it was very mild and I’m pleased with it. I have no qualms.”
Starring alongside Maureen in Menopause The Musical is former Eastender Cheryl Fergison, Rebecca Wheatley, who is best known as Amy Howard on Casualty, and Irish comedian Katherine Lynch.
The all-singing, all-dancing comedy brings together four women at a department store sale who at first appear to have nothing in common. Soon, however, they are having heart-to-hearts on hot flushes, night sweats, memory loss and plastic surgery.
The play began life in a 76-seat theatre in Florida in 2001 and went on to enjoy Off-Broadway success, as well as being produced in Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa and South Korea. The cast have spent the past two weeks in Glasgow rehearsing, and Maureen says it’s always good to come to Scotland.
“It sounds a bit twee, but coming here is kind of like home, as I have so many Scottish friends and have spent so much time here.
“From being here as a kid with The Nolans to whatever stage show I’ve been touring in, like Blood Brothers or Footloose, we always come to Glasgow.
“On this tour we have a lot of one-nighters, which can be a difficult thing, rather than extended nights in the one theatre, but we are being driven around on this tour, whereas I usually drive myself, and we’re also being put up in some lovely hotels, so it should be great.
“I look forward to coming back to this musical because the reaction from the audiences makes it a pleasure to be a part of.”
This year not only marks 40 years since The Nolans’ biggest single, I’m In The Mood For Dancing, but Maureen will also celebrate her 65th birthday.
“It doesn’t seem like 40 years, which is a lifetime to some people, and it’s amazing that the song is still being played,” she admitted. “It remains a floor filler at weddings and I never get tired of singing it – I still get asked to perform it while I’m in panto.
“We didn’t think it was amazing when it was first played to us. It’s a really good pop song, but we never envisioned the impact it would have around the world. Being on stage is what I’ve always done – since I was nine it’s all I’ve known. I don’t think I’m egotistical, but in what other job do people stand up and applaud and say what you’ve done is brilliant?”
Maureen will be hoping for the same reaction once again when she takes to the stage this week.
Beginning Tuesday in Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, then Perth Concert Hall, Caird Hall, Dundee, Edinburgh Playhouse, Gaiety Theatre, Ayr, Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock, Albert Halls, Stirling, Lanark Memorial Hall, Motherwell Concert Hall, Ryan Centre, Stranraer, Falkirk Town Hall, Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, and King’s Theatre, Glasgow.
Buy tickets here.