Martine McCutcheon is looking forward to an evening of firsts with her forthcoming tour date at Rhyl’s Pavilion.

The singer, West End star and former soap actress, who first shot to fame playing Tiffany Mitchell in EastEnders, admits this is the furthest north she has ever travelled. “I have family in Hawarden, so the furthest north I’ve been is Buckley,” she tells the Journal.

“It’s my first time in Rhyl, but for this tour I deliberately wanted to to go to places I haven’t been before.”

Another new departure will be a question-and-answer session with audience members – in between profoundly personal songs and anecdotes about her life in and out of the spotlight.

The innovation chimes with the title of McCutcheon’s tour, Up Close and Personal. “It’s really exciting. I’ve never done it before,” she says. “It can really refreshing to speak to people – to an audience, who can be more genuine – and it can often give better insight than anything you’d read about yourself in the press.”

The concert will feature songs from the star’s 2017 top-20 album, Lost and Found, including the surprisingly bold single, Say I’m Not Alone.

The evolution of her music means her output today is a far cry from her 1999 number one cover of the ballad Perfect Moment. The tour also comes after many years battling a debilitating illness, but a period during which she also also married multi-instrumentalist Jack McManus, with whom she co-wrote Lost and Found, and gave birth to her son, Rafferty.

Reflecting on the highs of fame and performing, and the lows of her illness and exhaustion, she said

“I was always incredibly grateful. I never took it [success] for granted but I also never took the time to stop and appreciate the experience – which I why I ended up burnt out. I can look back on my experience and reflect more honestly.

“Growing up in the public eye, you always have to show a certain face at all times. It was hard to know where you start and the persona ends. I was scared to show the layers then, but different things matter more now.”

She added: “More than ever, people want something honest. Many of them have grown up with me – so I think it’s liberating to share with them that life isn’t always a picnic.

“I was petrified when the album went out, but people know my journey and I’ve been welcomed back by open arms.”

Looking ahead to her tour, she said: “Like the title says, it’s Up Close and Personal, so we didn’t want blow anyone’s ears off. It’s going to be more acoustic guitar and piano-led. It resonates more with what I want to say.”

McCutcheon will be in concert at the Pavilion on Saturday, May 12 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £25 with concessions. Visit or call 01745 330000.