Sunday, 14 September 2014

Where are they now? I'd Do Anything!

Following on from How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria and Any Dream Will Do, the third instalment in the Andrew Lloyd Webber series was I'd Do Anything which searches for the new stars of the musical Oliver!, whilst the show did search for the role of Oliver, the adult and public voting side of the show searching for the role of Nancy. The series to follow was Over the Rainbow (The search for Dorothy). Rival TV shows to these BBC produced series also came up in Superstar (The search for Jesus), Grease is the Word (The search for Danny and Sandy) and Fame: The musical (the search for Nick and Serena). If you are a theatre geek like me, you'll remember these TV shows! And if you don't, you'll certainly know some of the contestants. So, where are they now?

Jodie Prenger

Jodie went on to win the role of Nancy and played it in the revival of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. After playing Nancy she has been seen as The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (UK Tour), Dolly in the National Theatre's production of One Man Two Guvnors (Theatre Royal Haymarket); the title role in Calamity Jane (UK Tour); Emma in Tell Me on a Sunday (UK Tour); Miss Hannigan in Annie (UK tour), Madame Thénardier in Les Miserables (Asia & Dubai); the title character in Shirley Valentine (UK tour); Kelly in Fat Friends (UK Tour) and Beverley in Abigails Party (UK Tour). She has also appeared in TV shows such as Loose Women, Waterloo Road, Candy Cabs and Casualty. Most recently, she was seen playing Helen in Taste of Honey on its UK Tour and at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End. @Musicalmissy

Jessie Buckley

After finishing second in the show, Jessie played Anne Egerman in the revival of A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Garrick Theatre. After that she went on to train at RADA and has since played Belvedira in Venice Preserv’d (The Spectators’ Guild); Princess Katharine in Henry V (Michael Grandage Company); Miranda in The Tempest (The Globe); Constanze Weber in Amadeus (Chichester Festival Theatre); Perdita in The Winter's Tale (Garrick Theatre). On TV she can be seen in Taboo, War & Peace, The Woman in White and The Lost Post. She has also broken into the movie business with roles in movies like Beast, Wild Rose, Judy, Dolittle, Ironbark and Misbehaviour.

Samantha Barks

After losing out on the role of Nancy in the West End revival, Samantha did go on to play the role in the UK touring production. She has also starred as Sally Bowls in Cabaret (National tour); Eponine in Les Miserables (Queens Theatre, 25th Anniversary concert & Film version); Velma Kelly in Chicago (Hollywood Bowl); Mallory Kingsley in City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse) the title role in Amelie (Berkeley Rep); Cathy in The Last Five Years (St. James Theatre) and Honeymoon in Vegas (London Palladium). She made her Broadway debut playing and originating the role of Vivienne in the new musical Pretty Woman and she has been announced to originate the role of Elsa in the West End production of Frozen when it opens at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. @SamanthaBarks

Rachel Tucker

After losing out in the Semi-final in the sing-off, Rachel went on to make her West End debut in We Will Rock as Meat and cover to the role of Scaramouche. Her next job was one she is probably most well known for, she starred as Elphaba in the London production of Wicked. She has since gone on to play the role on Broadway and is one of the longest-serving Elphabas in the shows history. Her other credits include Meg Dawson in Sting's musical The Last Ship (Broadway); Poopay in Communicating Doors (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Ida in Farragut North (Southwark Playhouse). She most recently originated the role of Beverley & Others in the London premiere cast of Come From Away, a role she is currently reprising on Broadway. @racheltucker1

Niamh Perry

After coming fifth in the show, Niamh has since gone on to play Sophie in MAMMA MIA! (Prince of Wales & international tour); Mary in The Beautiful Game (Union Theatre, London); Johanna in Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse & Manchester Royal Exchange); Kim in London revival of Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); The Little Prince (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); Fleck in Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre); Pandora in Exposure (St. James Theatre); Whisper House (The Other Palace); Girl in Once (Olympia Theatre, Dublin) and Good Vibrations at the Lyric in Belfast. Screen credits include; Rachel in The Group for Sister Pictures and Frankenstein's Wedding for BBC 3. She will be appearing in Breakfast on Pluto at the Donmar Warehouse this coming October. @NiamhPerry

Ashley J Russell 

Since the show, Ashley has gone on to appear in The Waiting Room (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Teacher/Lily Allen, understudied Killer Queen We Will Rock You (UK tour), Nun and understudied KT in Sister Act (London Palladium); Killer Queen in Will Rock You (UK and European tour); Jestend (Leicester Square Theatre); Mama Ogre/Mama Bear and understudied Dragon Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London); ensemble and understudy Rosie, Donna and Tanya in Mamma Mia! (international tour) and Mrs Walker in Tommy (Blackpool Opera House). @ashleyjrussell

Sarah Lark 

After losing out on the role, Sarahs journey with Oliver was not over just yet. She went on to feature in the ensemble and covered the role of Nancy in the revival of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Her other credits since then include Mrs Davis in Carrie's War (National Tour), the title role in Snow White (Swansea Grand Theatre), Ms Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Union Theatre). In 2012, she joined the cast of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre and reminds in the show to this day having transferred to the Les Miserables staged concert at the Gielgud and now is a Swing in the production in the, now renamed, Sondheim Theatre. @MissSarahLark

Keisha Amponsa-Banson

After leaving the show Keisha has been performing consistently in Theatre. Her credits since the show include Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors (UK tour), Urleen in Footloose (UK tour), cover Shenzi/Sarabi in Disney’s The Lion King (the original UK and Ireland tour), New Congress Club Trio/cover Sandra in From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Brenda & cover Babe and Mae in The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Mary Wells/Gwen in Motown (Shaftesbury Theatre), Greta/Actress in Dr Feelgood (The Other Palace) and Radio in Caroline, Change (Chichester & Playhouse Theatre) and Miss Phelps in Matilda (Cambridge Theatre). She has just finished in the final cast of School of Rock at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. @KShaKei

Francesca Jackson

Since the show Francessa went on to perform the role of Lucy in Can't Smile Without You (UK Tour), Sue in Dreamboats and Petticoats (UK Tour), Dyanne in the original London cast of Million Dollar Quartet (Noel Coward Theatre), Petra in A Little Night Music, Celestte in Sunday in the Park with George, Little Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods, Louis Lane/Biana in Kiss Me Kate (Theatre Du Chatelet) and Nancy in Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre). She is currently playing Ike and Tina’s manager Rhonda Graham, a role she originated, in the musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre. @franjackson_6 

Tara Bethan

After the show, Tara went on to play the role of the Narrator in the 2010 tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She also went onto appeared in the Welsh language soap opera Pobol Y Cwm from 2011 to 2016 and returned for a year in 2018. She is one of the judges on the Welsh TV show, Eurovision Junior: Search for a Star. 

Cleopatra Royer

After the show, Cleopatra (Now know professionally as Cleopatra Rey) has been seen in Brother Loves Travelling Salvation Show (UK tour), ensemble and understudy Elizabeth in Dirty Dancing (Aldwych), Deloris in Sister Act (Grand Opera House). Ensemble in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre) and most recently Gladys Knight in Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre). 

Amy Booth-Steel

Despite being eliminated first in the competition, she has gone on to have an incredible career. Since the TV show, her credits since the show include Piper in The Light Princess (National Theatre); Dolly in One Man Two Guvnors (UK Tour); Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Watermill); She Stoops To Conquer (National); Ruby in EX (Soho Theatre); Sister Act (London Palladium); Joyce Chilvers in Betty Blue Eyes (UK Tour); The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 13 3/4 (Leicester Curve); Anita and Me (Birmingham Rep); A Pacificts Guide to War on Cancer (National Theatre); Clydes Mother in Bonnie and Clyde (The Other Palace), Audrey in As You Like it (Regent's Park); Ms Fleming in Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket). In 2019 she took her one-woman show #HonestAmy to Edinburgh and the whole run sold out. @AmyBoothSteel

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