Richard Shelton has been described as, 'The worlds leading dramatic interpreter of Frank Sinatra'.
Awards include ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ (Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards) nomination for his gritty portrayal of Sinatra in the hard-hitting drama, ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in London's West End and 'Best Solo Performer Winner' for 'Sinatra: RAW' at the Adelaide Arts Festival, which followed sell-out, critically acclaimed runs in the UK, London and Los Angeles.
“My job as an actor is to emulate the essence and evoke the spirit of Frank Sinatra. To make people feel that they’ve spent a moment time with him,” says Shelton. “To tell stories through song and move them, persuade, challenge them. I want the audience to walk away saying “I feel like I’ve just spent an evening with Frank Sinatra.” If they do that, then I have done my job.”
Musically, Richard has performed the Sinatra repertoire on the worlds most acclaimed stages including with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, at The Globe Theatre in London, on TV and the world's most prestigious jazz venues including Ronnie Scotts in London.
Shawn Levy, the author of 'Rat Pack Confidential' and film critic for The Oregonian newspaper wrote, "Richard Shelton is an actor who has discovered a way to convey the complexities of Sinatra's character. He has an uncanny connection to the character of Sinatra. He has got, to paraphrase Cole Porter, Sinatra under his skin".
'Rat Pack Confidential' critics include;
★★★★★ 'No one should take lightly standing on a stage and trying to BE Frank Sinatra. But Richard Shelton, the man who portrays him, is quite simply phenomenal. He captures the essence of the man perfectly. His voice has exactly the right tone; he has that twinkle in his eye; he has that anger that sometimes flowed out of every Sinatra pore'.' Mike Young (BBC)
★★★★ 'Shelton captures perfectly Sinatra’s string pulling menace.'– Michael Billington, (The Guardian)
★★★★ 'Sinatra was marvellously played by Richard Shelton, singing the hits with style with a smile that turns on and off like a lightbulb and an edge of near psychotic violence.' – Charles Spencer, (The Daily Telegraph)
★★★★ 'Richard Shelton’s splendidly tough yet laid-back performance as the Pack Leader'. - Benedict Nightingale, (The Times)
★★★★★ 'Richard Shelton IS Frank Sinatra - it is incredible!' - Howard Mutte-Mewse, (Turner Classic Movies)
★★★★★ ‘Outstanding - from the opening notes of 'A Very Good Year', Shelton is remarkable, completely transforming into the great man so as you would believe he's here in the room with you' - (Broadway World)
★★★★★ 'A stand-out performance’ (Manchester Evening News)
Richard’s play, ‘Sinatra: RAW’ which he wrote and starred in, enjoyed 3 sell-out, critically acclaimed seasons at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to London for 2 sell-out, critically acclaimed seasons at Wiltons Music Hall and the Crazy Coqs.
'1971 - The Purple Room, Palm Springs. Frank Sinatra prepares for his last intimate pre-retirement gig. People jostle for position and the air is electric with anticipation. Sinatra drinks ‘One For My Baby’ too many and starts to reminisce when things take a turn. This is the 2am Sinatra you dream of meeting. Dangerous. Unpredictable. Startling. Brilliant.’
'Sinatra: RAW' critics include;
★★★★★ 'A glorious and compelling masterpiece” (Londontheatre.com)
★★★★★ 'Richard Shelton's masterful take on Ol' Blue Eyes is a must see - pitched somewhere between a concert and a confessional, this modest show has greatness in it. Shelton's vocals are remarkable, manifesting not only Sinatra's sliding rhythms and nuanced phrasing, but also the timbre of that famous instrument. His voice wraps you up. Shelton's flinty performance adds fillip to his interpretations of the music.' - Donald Hutera (The Times)
★★★★★ 'From the opening notes of 'A Very Good Year', Richard Shelton is remarkable, completely transforming into the great man so you would believe he was back in the room with you!" (Broadway World)
★★★★★ 'Richard Shelton delivers pure gold with wonderful singing that captures every subtle nuance of Sinatra's style - so similar in fact that one one could be listening to a recording except we're most definitely not.' (ActDrop)
★★★★★ 'Sheer brilliance, Richard Shelton channelled Frank Sinatra and Richard left the building. As for the songs, close your eyes and take in the sound, of Richard absolutely nailing Sinatra’s voice, as it washes over you. Open your eyes and the likeness is there for all to see.'- (Carn's Theatre Passion)
★★★★★ 'If you’re a fan of Sinatra this show, goose-bumps are guaranteed. Richard Shelton sure knows how to croon, and if you close your eyes his voice is a near perfect imitation of the real deal.' (Entertainment Focus)
★★★★★ 'As in any great show, he leads you wanting more - more of the music and more of the man.' - (Pocket Size Theatre)
★★★★ 'A mesmerising and fascinating show that offers deep insight into the man behind the singer, beautifully performed by Richard Shelton... it's a well pitched (in every sense) performance.' (Love London Love Culture)
★★★★ 'A model of its kind – not the usual tribute show hagiography but a warts and all portrait of Old Blue Eyes. There will be no more sophisticated and polished act in Edinburgh this August Richard Shelton does Sinatra proud. If one for your baby and one for the road is what you are looking for Richard Shelton will bring Old Blue Eyes to life - warts and all - in the Fringe's most sophisticated show - HIS way.' (Bill Russell, Review Gate)
★★★★ 'Singing his way through that famous back catalogue Richard Shelton reminds us what made Sinatra such an undeniable star, as he croons, you can feel the world melt away.' (Theatre Weekly)
In the US, Richard made his Sinatra debut with a 3-night series of concerts honouring Frank Sinatra's centennial year, 'A Very Good Year' at the US Grant Hotel, San Diego working alongside Sinatra's original musicians which marked a run in LA, Palm Springs and New York. In the UK, Richard has graced the stages with orchestras and big-bands, including a sell-out concert of ‘The Main Event’ with the Sad Lawrence Big Band.
Richard’s life long synchronicity with Sinatra is captured in his show ’Sinatra and Me’ which he has performed internationally and toured South Africa in March 2019.
Alongside social media Richard also has a dedicated Mailing List to keep in touch.
Just like a Fan Club, the Mailing List will keep you updated on Richard's news as well as current and future projects, tours, and all things Shelton!
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