Nicola Seekings-Smith, who is bringing the golden era of music to Weymouth with her nostalgic show, tells Laura Hanton what an audience can expect from Lipstick on Your Collar

AS both the co-producer and lead performer in a hit musical that has been touring the UK since 2016, Nicola Seekings-Smith is a star in demand.

Lipstick on Your Collar, created by Nicola, 35, and her fiancé, transports audiences back to the golden era of music, showcasing the best-loved classics of the 1960s by the likes of The Beatles and Chuck Berry, Cilla Black and Cliff Richard.

"The show starts in 1955 and goes through to 1964, so we cover the whole decade," Nicola explains.

And there's more than just music: the show explores the fashions and fads of the era, with a projection of scenes in the background creating a fully nostalgic experience.

Nicola, who lives in Reading, has been singing she was just five years old and traces her love of the 50s and 60s eras to the music her parents used to play in the car.

"We owned a little shop and I used to make customers listen to me sing before they could buy a newspaper," she admits. "My family aren't musical, so I don't know where it's come from, but it's just natural for me to be on stage."

After attending the Italia Conti theatre school in London, a leading performing arts institution, Nicola worked in the industry for several years before deciding with her fiancé to create Lipstick on Your Collar in 2016. After a successful preview tour, the show has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, including the dizzy heights of London's West End - and on August 10, the show is coming to Weymouth.

"My fiancé used to work in IT, but he always loved music. He's now the tech manager for the show," Nicola says. "We trained together in sound engineering – it’s helpful to have knowledge of that when I’m on stage, because I know what needs to be altered to get it how I want it to sound."

Despite the intensity of the live shows, Nicola still makes time to do meet and greets with audience members after the performance. "I like hearing the stories of people," she says. "The show can make a massive difference to people's lives. A young girl came up to me recently and said she’d received some bad news about a relative that day. She said she hadn’t wanted to come to the show, but it had completely changed the way she was feeling."

Lipstick on Your Collar has been touring the country for the last three years, but it's recently received a makeover for 2019. With new songs, dances, and staging, the show is often being tweaked so audiences can come again every year and see something a little bit different.

So does Nicola ever get tired of life on the road?

"I love being on tour," she says. "The only thing I miss is my dog - I have a rescue puppy from Battersea, and I hate being away from him. But other than that it's so much fun. I can be tired, but then I'll get on stage and the music starts and I think, yes, this is what I'm meant to do. I never just can't be bothered."

Reactions to the show can also differ depending on whereabouts in the country it's being performed.

"Sometimes audiences are really loud, on their feet and singing along. Other times, they just want to sit back and watch. It's interesting seeing how they differ from place to place."

For Nicola, however, the best part of the whole experience is having ownership of the show.

"Having worked for people for years, I love having the artistic licence to do what I'm passionate about," she says. "Lipstick on Your Collar is about bringing together everything we love and taking it on the road. We can do exactly what we want to do."

Touring with Nicola and her partner are a six-piece band, plus tech and sound crews, who together bring the magic of the 50s and 60s back to life.

Ultimately, it's a truly feel-good show, which promises to have audiences dancing down the aisles.

"You have to dance," Nicola says. "The music is irresistible. It will have you twitching and reminiscing. The whole show is trip down memory lane."

And with tour dates already being booked for 2021, the musical is showing no sign of closing its curtains.

*Lipstick on Your Collar comes to Weymouth Pavilion on Saturday, August 10. Tickets for the performance, which begins at 7.30pm, are £24 and available from the pavilion box office.