The life and music of one of the most iconic female artists of our time will be celebrated at Weymouth Pavilion next weekend.

EMILY CLARK, who plays the role of Dusty Springfield in Dusty and the Shades of the 60s, tells JOANNA DAVIS what the audience can expect.

SHADES of the 60s will take us on a journey through the artists and writers who worked with Dusty Springfield over a career spanning three decades; including hits by Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Aretha Franklin.

Singer and actress Emily Clark will honour the memory of the soulful Springfield in the show including I Only Want to be with You, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, Son of a Preacher Man and I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.

The UK tour of Dusty and the Shades of the 60s begins at Weymouth Pavilion, which suits Emily very well, she says.

"I love being by the sea so I’m very much looking forward to starting off the Dusty tour in Weymouth.

"The Pavilion had its grand opening in 1908 so I love how it has such a long history - talking of history the pavilion crowd can expect a night of being transported back to the 60s through song, dance and the wonderful soulful sounds of Dusty Springfield and her contemporaries!

"Not to mention the hairdos, dance steps, and dresses!"

Emily says rehearsals have been going well for the show and she has been doing her best to keep her voice in tip-top shape.

"Rehearsals are going extremely well. I love seeing the show come together! I have to have lots of sleep – so no going out late for the moment – and some strangely sounding vocal warm-ups keep my voice strong. I also try to eat healthily and I take regular walks with my dog to keep fit."

There'll even be a change for Weymouth audiences to get involved in the show, she says.

"We encourage the audience to dance in the aisles – mostly towards the end of the show – when they’ll be joined for a song and dance by our dancers, The Dusters, as we like to call them!"

Music was a huge part of Emily's childhood and Dusty Springfield was one of her favourite female vocalists, she says.

"I really enjoyed listening to her when I was growing up – another favourite was the amazing Madonna who was a huge inspiration; her look, her sound, and the strong woman she portrayed literally pushed me forward to become a professional singer."

And her admiration for Dusty is not only as a singer but as a record producer too, Emily said.

"She didn't mind being different and was out to create her own soulful sound; she absolutely loved music, particularly the American soul music that was filtering over to the UK and she really knew her stuff. "

Emily started her musical career in Spain in a song and dance show; then sang with a few girl groups, formed her own Pink tribute act then moved into musical theatre.

She said: "I toured with two of Steve Steinman’s absolutely brilliant musical shows Vampires Rock with Twisted Sister’s guitarist Eddie Ojeda and punk queen Toyah Wilcox and Bat The Symphony with the National Orchestra of Great Britain. I had such a blast! "Then I played the young Dolly Parton in the show Dolly and the female lead in the rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom which is an Australian production that originally starred Russell Crowe!

"I’ve also performed in China in The Rocky Horror Show and I’m really looking forward to taking the lead in Dusty and the Shades of the 60s in 2018.

Her favourite song to perform is Natural Woman, she says.

"I love soul and Motown and I can’t wait to perform it. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is one of my favourite Dusty songs; with its dramatic sound and the build up at the end, it is musically so moving.

"The reaction of the crowd is always incredible. I can't help but love it! My third song choice is a bit different: Guns ‘n’ Roses 1987 classic rocker Sweet Child of Mine has to be up there musically and vocally as a big favourite of mine. Every part of this song makes me want to rock out and I get to show off my vocal range with some belting notes."

Emily's image on this tour is very much featured around Dusty's iconic look.

"Although nobody can BE Dusty, I am there to represent her so there will be some specific references including the beehive, the smoky eyes and the flamboyant glamour," she says.

"For the Dusty fans there is a particular dress I get to wear which is quite iconic - you'll have to wait until the show to see it. There are a LOT of sequins!"

Hopefully the show will bring back memories of good times in the 60s, Emily says.

"We always get comments that our shows bring back personal memories of good times in the 60s. I think most will be surprised about what they enjoy most as the show isn't just Dusty's album music, it's a journey through her career, including a lot of songs that she covered and ones that inspired her.

"There were a lot of greats in Dusty's life and they're all featured in the show. Like the Burt Bacharach section."

Being on the road and in different locations provides daily excitement Emily says.

"Every show has a different feel, live entertainment allows us to feel what the audience are feeling and that's exciting every day.

"Also, being able to perform in such beautiful venues and visiting different parts of the country is a massive plus!

"The five things on tour I can't do without are coffee for the long journeys, a paper diary (I'm a writer not a typist and without it I wouldn't have a clue what I'm doing!), hairspray - if only that beehive stayed up on its own…, a picture of my dog and a pillow – then it's like sleeping in my own bed!"

*Dusty and the Shades of the 60s, Weymouth Pavilion, Saturday, March 3, 7.30pm. Call the box office for tickets and more information.