Sunday, 21 September 2014

Where are they now? Over The Rainbow!


This year is the 10th anniversary of the programme 'Over the Rainbow', the TV reality show that searched for the role of Dorothy in the newly staged production of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. This programme follows on from How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, Any Dream Will Do & I'd Do Anything, the programs that searched for the roles of Maria, Joseph and Nancy. 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). John Barrowman, Denise Van Outen, Zoe Tyler and Bill Kenwright were all judges on the previous series but they were replaced by John Partridge, Shelia Hancock and Charlotte Church with, of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber. 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? 

Danielle Hope 

Danielle went on to win the TV show and played role of Dorothy in the new version of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. After leaving the show, she went on to play Eponine in Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre, a role she returned to in 2015. Her other roles include the title role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Birmingham Hippodrome & London Palladium); Cathy in The Last Five Years (Greenwich Theatre & The Warren Theatre in Brighton); Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour); Maria in The Sound of Music (UK Tour); Sandy in Grease (UK Tour); Sherrie in Rock of Ages (UK Tour) and most recently Betty Haynes in White Christmas (Dominion Theatre). @DanielleHope26

Sophie Evans 

Although Sophie just missed out on winning the TV show, coming second to Danielle Hope, she did go on to alternate the role of Dorothy at the London Palladium and eventually went on to play the role full time when Hope left. Since then she has appeared in Irving Berlin: From Rags to Ritzes (UK tour), Lord of the Dance (Playhouse Theatre & Lyric Theatre, Broadway), You Won't Succeed on Broadway Without any Jews (St. James theatre) and most recently has just finished a run as Glinda in the London production of Wicked, becoming the youngest person to play Glinda in the shows History. @SophieEvans1993

Lauren Samuels

After coming third in the show, Lauren was the first Dorothy to hit the West End after the show, playing Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre. Her other credits include Cathy in The Last Five Years (Tabard), Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre & World Tour); title role in Vampirette (Manchester Opera House); Ellie in Water Babies (Leicester Curve); Jenny in Love Story (Bolton Octagon); Jules in Bend it Like Beckham the Musical (Phoenix Theatre); Polly in The Buskers Opera (Park Theatre); Mary in Vanities (Trafalgar Studios); La Ronde (Bunker theatre); Romantics Anonymous (the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Theatre); Rory in A Hundred Words For Snow (Arcola); Jenny in The Big Corner (Octagon Theatre) and Katherine in Henry V (Barn Theatre). She most recently appeared in the infamous Lyric Hammersmith Pantomime, playing Popsy in Cinderella. @Laurensamuels88

Stephanie Fearon

Stephanie got cast in Smokey Joes Cafe at the Landor Theatre after being eliminated from the show and released an album entitled 'My Parade' Her other credits since the show include Dorothy in The Wiz (Milton Keynes Theatre), Diana Morales in A Chorus Line (Tel Aviv Opera House), Ella in Run (Polka Theatre), Mimi Marquez in RENT (Greenwich Theatre) and Ruth in Molly Wobbly Tit Factory (Leicester Square Theatre) and Lisa in the West End production of Mamma Mia!. She currently runs her own business, Charlies Whiskers, which is a Doggy Daycare, Boarding and Grooming in South East London @stephfearon89

Jessica Robinson 

After the programme, Jessica gained a place at Arts Educational Schools in London to study musical theatre after Over the Rainbow and afterwards became Jessica Daley professionally. Her theatre credits include Ali in Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre); Tess in Tess of the D'Urbervilles (New Wimbledon Studio); alternated the role of Maria in The Sound of Music (UK Tour); Ensemble and cover to the role of Fantine in Les Miserables (Dubai, Manila & Singapore); Frenchy in Grease (Dubai) and Lynette in An Officer and a Gentleman (Leicteser Curve & UK Tour). She was most recently seen starring in the title role in Evita in the original, Hal Prince directed, production in the International tour. @jessicacaca7

Jenny Douglas

After the show, Jenny landed the part of Meat in We Will Rock You on the touring production of the show. She has since appeared as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and the title character in Cinderella (The King's Theatre Royal); the title role in Snow White (Edinburgh Playhouse); Holly in Viva Forever (Workshop); Little Sally in Urinetown and Julia in Willy's Bitches (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); the title role in Cinderella (Gardyne Theatre, Dundee) and most recently starred as Snow White at the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee. She is also part of a vocal and piano duo, The DaCapo Daughters. @Jaydeedouglas

Stephanie Davis 

After the TV series, Stephanie went on to play Sinead O'Connor in the soap opera Hollyoaks. She left the show in 2015 and returned to playing the role in 2018. She also went onto to appear in 'Holloaks Later', the spin off show to the original soap. She has since gone on to appear in Celebrity Big Brother before returning to her acting career. In February 2020, she released her debut single enetitled 'Lights Out'. @StephDavis77

Emilie Fleming 

Emilie was the Wildcard Dorothy in the programme, after the show she went on to study Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. Her theatre credits since include Maggie in Only The Brave (The Wales Millennium Centre); Lucy in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep); Elsie in Monster: A One Woman Show (Edinburgh & Camden Fringe); Cosette in Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre); Charlotte in Oliver (The Sheffield Crucible) and Susan in Berlin - The Musical (The Bloomsbury Theatre). She most recently played Maria in the UK touring production of The Sound of Music. @emiliekfleming

Dani Rayner

Dani has graduated from Kings College London with a First Class Honours in English Language and Literature. She went on to play the title role in Sleeping Beauty at the Lyceum in Sheffield and in was also seen in Aladdin as Princess Jasmine at the Liverpool Empire opposite Pamela Anderson. She has since gone on to work in marketing for companies such as Netflix and the BBC. @DaniRayner

Bronté Barbé

After being eliminated second in the series, Bronté has gone on to have a huge career in theatre. Her credits include Sharon in Cool Rider – The Grease 2 Concert (Lyric Theatre);, Momentous Musicals (UK tour); Penny in Hairspray (Kuala Lumpur/Singapore); ensemble & cover Princess Fiona, a role she later went on to take over, in Shrek (UK Tour); Jest End (Waterloo East); Nadine in The Wild Party (The Other Palace); Carol King in Beautiful: The Carole King musical (UK Tour) and Light Bulb Seller/ The Little Match Girl in Striking 12 (Union Theatre). She was most recently seen playing Ado Annie in Oklahoma at the Chichester Festival Theatre. @BronteBarbieee

Amy Diamond 

After being eliminated first on the show, her theatre credits include Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); Vocalist in Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show (UK Tour); Sue in Dreamboats and Petticoats (UK Tour); Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (The Grange Theatre, Northwich); Shelia in Hair (European Tour & West End Gala); Ensemble and understudy Satan Baby Jane in Tonight's The Night (UK tour); backing vocalist for Josh Groban and Celine Dion (Arena Tour); Vocalist with Giorgio Moroda (World Tour) and most recently, vocalist in Rip it Up (Garrick Theatre). @amydiamondsings

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