TOMORROW night the curtain goes up on one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year - the musical The Band which features the hits of Take That.

For Edgworth actress Katy Clayton who plays a key role in the show, the world premiere can’t come soon enough.

“I don’t think it’s going to sink in until the curtains open on opening night. I still keep pinching myself thinking this is just a dream. It’s just so exciting.”

Not only does The Band feature the music of Take That but Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams have also been co-producers for the show written by Tim Firth.

It tells the story of a group of friends who were obsessed by a boy band in 1992 and now, as fortysomethings, decide to try and meet their heroes.

Katy plays one of the young girls devoted to The Band, played by Five to Five, winners of the TV talent search Let it Shine.

And although at 23 she wasn’t around for the early days of Take That, she admits that she was a massive fan of the band.

“I’ve always loved Take That,” she said. “I sang Greatest Day at my year 11 leavers’ assembly., It’s almost feels like Take That have been a soundtrack to my own life so it’s great to be in a show that features their songs.”

Having grown up in Edgworth, Katy attended Turton High School before doing a degree course at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. She now lives in Bolton.

Although The Band is Katy’s biggest break so far, she is no stranger to the limelight. When she was six she was in Coronation Street and also spent four years in the drama Where the Heart Is as a child.

“My first job was at the age of six so I’ve been in the industry for 17 years which just doesn’t seem possible.”

Katy first auditioned for The Band in September last year.

“We had to sing a Take That song of our choice and do a monologue,” she said. “I sang A Million Love Songs because I love that one and then I had about five recalls and then a series of workshops in March before I found out that I’d got the part in April.

“I had to keep that secret until June. It is so hard keeping something like that a secret. I just wanted to stand on Bolton Town Hall steps and tell everybody.”

Being part of a production from the outset is something many actors never experience.

“It’s been fantastic to be part of the process from the beginning,” said Katy. “You get to see how everything develops and it’s an actor’s dream to be in the room with Tim Firth as the writer who has been so hands-on.”

Katy has also had to get used to familiar faces dropping in to rehearsal from time to time.

“Gary Mark and Howard have been to the workshops we did and to rehearsals,” she said. “They are very hands-on too as it is their baby as well. They have played a very active part in the process.

“It’s always very odd seeing someone in person when you’ve only ever seen them on the telly or live at gigs, so initially it was a bit of a shock but they are lovely down-to-earth people who make you feel so comfortable.”

For a northern lass, Katy is delighted the show is getting its world premiere in Manchester. It means her family - dad John, managing editor at Radio Lancashire, Mum Jill and brothers James and Adam and boyfriend Joshua will all be there on opening night.

“I just think of the amount of time my parents have spent taking me to dancing lessons, to singing lessons, to auditions and chaperoning me when I was younger.” she said. “They have invested so much time, energy and money in me. So it’s lovely for me have them there when the show opens.

“I saw my first production at the Opera House when I was three, Alice in Wonderland the ballet. It ‘s so exciting that we’re now going to open the show there. It’s insane that I’m able to live the dream.”

The Band, Manchester Opera House, Friday, September 8 until Saturday, September 30. Details from 0844 871 3018 or