Backstage with Methwold production company, Sweeney Entertainments

editorial image
Have your say

Peter, 48, and Julie Sweeney, 42, have a whole range of tribute shows touring the UK, which they run through their production company, Sweeney Entertainments, based at their home.

The couple, who met while they were both working at Butlins – Julie as a Redcoat and Peter as a guitarist, set the company up 10 years ago after several years of working in the business.

Julie said: “We were both performers first, and I later worked as a professional singer. I think this really gives us the edge because we know what the artists want and we know what the theatres want, so we work well as the middle-man between the two.”

Peter added: “We’re passionate about keeping theatres open in what is quite a fragile market, and we’re very, very fortunate to have a great venue like the Corn Exchange right on our doorstep. They’re very positive there, plus we get to see a lot of our shows when they play here.”

The pair set up Sweeney Entertainments after working with various other companies and realising they both had a different vision for how they would like to work.

Julie said: “ A lot of our artists have been with us for 10 years or more and yet the tribute market is still so buoyant.

“Tribute was a dirty word not long ago but now attitudes have completely changed and it’s an exciting industry to be a part of.”

The couple work hard to offer not just a tribute show, but a whole live music experience.

Peter said: “For a two-hour theatre show where people are paying upwards of £20 a ticket, quality is very important. You’re trying to give people an experience that never existed – tribute shows are a celebration of the music of a superstar but in a setting they never would have played.”

The couple have a huge range of shows including I Love To Boogie with T-Rextasy and The Locrian Ensemble, which have both been running for around 10 years. There are also Back to Broadway, The Best of ABBA: Waterloo, Complete Madness, Think Floyd – which recently visited Lynn’s Corn Exchange – and Supreme Queen.

Julie said: “We like the new stuff as well, we just signed an amazing Kate Bush tribute. I love them all, but my absolute passion has always been Jackson – there are a lot of bad productions out there and I’m really proud of ours.”

Peter said: “There’s also a lot of dodgy ABBA shows out there, but we’re really proud of our Waterloo show. We’re very choosy about the acts we sign up.”

This Friday, fans of the music of Michael Jackson can catch a performance of Jackson Live in Concert at Lynn’s Corn Exchange by Ben, accompanied by a live band and dancers.

Julie said: “Ben doesn’t think he actually is Jackson, but his attention to detail is amazing.”

Peter added: “Some do start to believe they are a superstar, but Ben’s not like that. He works very hard and is very dedicated to the role and everything that comes with it.

Julie said: “It’s really lovely when you see the kids come along all dressed up for Jackson or ABBA, seeing them with their families is what it is all about.”

Tickets are still available for the Jackson Live in Concert show. Call the box office on 01553 764864 to book.