* THE Drifters Girl, coming to the Alhambra this autumn, is the remarkable story of the woman who made the hugely popular American vocal group.

The show is packed with hits including Saturday Night At The Movies and Save The Last Dance For Me.

From hit records to legal battles and personal tragedy, Faye Treadwell is the manager who refused to give up on the group she loved.

Carly Mercedes Dyer, who plays Faye, fell in love with the show when she saw it in London: “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 blew me away. I thought Faye Treadwell would be a great part to play because her story is so interesting.”

How would you describe Faye and her story? “She’s tenacious, groundbreaking, hugely intelligent and resilient. If there wasn’t a Faye Treadwell there wouldn’t really be The Drifters because they would be a new iteration, a kind of tribute act. She persevered and kept them at the top of their game - and fresh.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Carly Mercedes Dyer stars in The Drifters Girl Carly Mercedes Dyer stars in The Drifters Girl (Image: Johan Persson)

“The show is about this woman who took on an industry which didn’t have women in managerial positions and because she was the first African-American female manager she was constantly overlooked and undermined. That’s crazy when you consider all the things she did.”

Can Carly relate to her in any way? “One hundred per cent. In our industry sometimes people go ‘Oh okay, that’s what you do’ and they want to keep you in a box. But I like to do things that push me out of my comfort zone. I never rest on my laurels.”

Beverley Knight played Faye, to critical acclaim, when the show opened in the West End. Carly says following her footsteps is “overwhelming”.

“But at the same time she been a really good friend since I was in Memphis with her. So I thought ‘At least you’ve got her on your side’,” she says. “I’m not Beverly Knight, I’m not Felicia Boswell (who took over from Knight in the West End), I am Carly Mercedes Dyer and I’m gonna give you my spin on it.”

Was Carly familiar with the story that inspired the show?”No, I just knew the songs and often I didn’t realise it was The Drifters singing them. Seeing the show made me realise ‘Oh my word, this woman was the backbone of The Drifters’.

"She made them who they were and created a legacy both for herself and for the group. As an African-American woman in the record business she was groundbreaking. To persevere when people keep telling you ‘no’ and shutting down your ideas takes resilience. She was ahead of her time. She could have just given up and gone home.”

Carly’s favourite number is Save the Last Dance For Me “because you can tell the boys are having a great time and you’re in the club with them. The music in this show is all about nostalgia. People go ‘Oh my goodness, I remember hearing this’.”

Carly made her West End debut in Chicago and went on to star in Memphis - “my proudest moment, the skillset and talent was unreal” - and Anything Goes, earning her an Olivier nomination.

She says The Drifters Girl will leave audiences “blown away by the magnitude of talent of the company - our Drifters are something else. I also hope they come away knowing more about who the backbone behind The Drifters was and how much tenacity went into keeping them going.”

* The Drifters Girl is at the Alhambra from October 3-7. Call (01274) 432000 or visit bradford-theatres.co.uk