Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 08:40 UK

Barlow backs Take That stage show

By Ian Youngs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Gary Barlow
Barlow said he was unlikely to watch the musical

Take That singer Gary Barlow has given a cautious blessing to a musical based on the band's music, which has had its official opening night in the West End.

"At first I thought it sounded horrible," Barlow told the BBC.

"But the reports I've seen have been really good so there must be something good in it. I'm just worried that they're better than us."

The reformed pop group have not been involved with the show, Never Forget, which is staged at The Savoy Theatre.

'Amazing cast'

EMI Music Publishing licensed the songs to the producers of the musical in 2005.

It tells the fictional story of a Take That tribute band and includes songs like Relight My Fire, Pray, Back For Good and Babe.

When it was announced in 2007, the band said they did not endorse it and insisted it was "absolutely and 100% nothing to do with Take That".

Never Forget
The show, Never Forget, is on at the Savoy Theatre

But at the Ivor Novello awards on Thursday, Barlow said: "I've had some friends who went to see it in Manchester and they said the cast were amazing.

"I don't really know a lot about it, but the people I know that have been really had a good time."

After Thursday's show, Daily Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer said it was "not nearly as terrible as I secretly hoped it would be".

It was "rapturously received" and "clearly destined to do a lucrative trade", he wrote.

But Barlow said he would not be joining the crowds. "I don't think we can sit in that audience somehow, he said.

Take That are "just starting" work on a new album, the follow-up to their 2006 comeback record Beautiful World, the singer and songwriter said.

Asked whether he had been in touch with former bandmate Robbie Williams, he replied: "I haven't, no. I live here and he lives in LA. I think he's been very quiet recently."

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