DUTCH singer, dancer and pianist Maaike Breijman shares her July 30 birthday with Kate Bush and Emily Bronte. Perhaps it was fate she should end up presenting a tribute show to the English singer-songwriter whose career was kick-started by a teenage number one inspired by Bronte’s book, Wuthering Heights.

“When I first heard that song, I must have been eight or nine and I guess I was intrigued,” says Maaike, who is 36 now and is playing the Grand Opera House in York on Thursday in Wow – The Show: A Celebration of the Music & Artistry of Kate Bush.

“When I was 16, Kate Bush’s name started coming up again and I thought I should start finding out about her as people were comparing us, saying I looked like her and sounded like her.

“I obviously only knew that one song and I didn’t really know what she looked like but when I found out more, I was really flattered.”

Taking the comparison in her stride, Maaike nevertheless admits “it’s a bit freaky, especially as we both share our birthday with Emily Bronte”.

By 16, she was interested in music. “But I was also really interested in theatre and saw myself getting into musicals as a career. At that time, I did a lot of musicals at high school in Haarlem, and though there’s always been a lot of bands from Haarlem, I never quite fitted in somehow. I never quite had the voice they were looking for. I was always the odd one out.”

Maaike attended the school of performing arts in Alkmaar from the age of 20 to 24, but did not pursue that career professionally, instead becoming a singing teacher.

“On stage I would rather do something I really like rather than just doing it for making a living,” she says. “Eventually I found people that were looking for a different type of voice, though by then I’d done a lot of different things: jazz, pop, folk and symphonic rock… and that’s where the whole Kate Bush thing started.”

What happened, Maaike? “I’d done some gigs with my symphonic rock band, Knight Of The Progs – which is a terrible name, I know, but it was fun,” she says. “Anyway, we decided to start doing some Kate Bush songs and we managed to get a few gigs.”

One Maaike performance as Kate Bush at an Irish music festival led to an introduction to producer Spike Beecham, who went to watch her rehearse in Holland and Wow – The Show was born. “Everything went really fast after that because only a month later I had a showcase in Liverpool at the O2 Academy,” she recalls.

Kate Bush famously undertook only one tour, in 1979, and Maaike’s touring show will not only recreate that concert performance, but open in Liverpool and close in London, mirroring Bush’s itinerary.

Wow will, however, not only focus on songs from Bush’s early years. Instead Maaike will sing Bush’s greatest songs and perform dance routines with a full troupe of dancers and a British band.

“We’ve spent a lot of time studying what Kate has done and imagining what she might have done on stage with her later songs,” says Maaike, who has been putting herself through the paces to be in tip-top shape for the dance routines.

“I’ve no idea if Kate knows about the show – and who knows if Kate’ll be seeing it – but I’m not going to give away too much information about the set list or the costumes. You’ll just have to see the show.”

Maaike can reveal there will be 20 songs and 17 – yes, 17 – costume changes in her 90-minute show. Wow indeed.

Aside from her looks, voice and shared birthday, what drew her to the most challenging artist she could have chosen for a tribute show? “I think it’s that there are so many different aspects to her work: her vocal performances; her presence on stage; her lyrics. It’s everything,” concludes Maaike.

“Not only do I love her songs musically, but each and every single one of her songs tells a story, either humorous or cruel or witty or intelligent, and I love bringing these stories to life.”

• Wow – The Show: A Celebration of the Music & Artistry of Kate Bush, Grand Opera House, York, Thursday, 7.30pm. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or atgtickets.com/york