Carly Mercedes Dyer takes centre stage as Faye Treadwell in The Drifters Girl tour

Carly Mercedes Dyer is set to grace stages across the UK as she embodies Faye Treadwell in the tour of The Drifters Girl.

Based on the iconic music of American vocal group The Drifters, the show tells the remarkable story of The Drifters and the woman who made them, their manager Faye Treadwell.

Ahead of The Drifters Girl tour arriving at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre from 21 November, Olivier-nominated Carly shared her insights into the captivating show and her role as the tenacious and groundbreaking Faye.

The cast of The Drifters Girl tour
Miles Anthony Daley, Ashford Campbell, Tré Copeland-Williams, Tarik Frimpong as The Drifters ©The Other Richard

Carly’s journey with The Drifters Girl began when she witnessed the London production: “I thought it was such a slick show. I knew the vocals would be amazing, because you know what your friends can do, but they absolutely blew me away.”

Moreover, the story of Faye Treadwell deeply resonated with Carly, making her eager to step into this compelling character. She emphasized, “I also thought that Faye Treadwell would be a great part to play because her story is so interesting.”

Faye Treadwell’s character is a testament to resilience and groundbreaking achievement. She was instrumental in shaping The Drifters, ensuring their enduring success in an industry that often marginalized women in managerial positions. Carly admires Faye’s tenacity and her unyielding commitment to keeping the group at the pinnacle of their game, describing her as “tenacious, groundbreaking, hugely intelligent, and resilient.”

When asked about her ability to relate to Faye, Carly responded emphatically, “One hundred percent.” She emphasized her inclination to explore roles that push her boundaries, much like Faye’s determination in the face of adversity. “In our industry sometimes people go ‘Oh okay, that’s what you do’ and they want to keep you in a specific box. But I like to do things that scare me and push me out of my comfort zone. I never just rest on my laurels.”

Carly Mercedes Dyer as Faye Treadwell.
Carly Mercedes Dyer as Faye Treadwell. ©The Other Richard

The role of Faye Treadwell comes with its unique set of challenges. Carly acknowledges the enormity of stepping into the shoes of her predecessor, Beverley Knight, who played the role in the West End. She stated, “Following in the footsteps of Beverley Knight is a pretty big challenge.” However, Carly is prepared to offer her distinct interpretation of the character, adding, “I am Carly Mercedes Dyer, and I’m gonna give you my spin on it.”

Carly wasn’t initially familiar with the true story that inspired the show but marvelled at Faye’s achievements, stating, “As an African-American woman in the record business, she was groundbreaking, and to persevere when people always keep telling you ‘no’ and shutting down your ideas takes a lot of resilience.”

The Drifters Girl features a repertoire of unforgettable songs, but Carly particularly enjoys performing “Save the Last Dance For Me” for its infectious energy. She also has a deep connection with her solo numbers, especially “Harlem Child,” which she described as “so emotive.”

As for what audiences can expect from the show, Carly concludes: “I know they are going to be blown away by the magnitude of the talent of the company because our Drifters are something else.

“I just don’t know how they find these people that have the vocal range and the acting ability to put on so many different hats.

“The cast is incredible and the buzz from the audience is going to be electric. They’re in for a great time.”

The Drifters Girl plays at New Victoria Theatre, Woking from Tuesday, 21 November to Saturday, 25 November. Book tickets here.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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