West End girl

DREAMS of West End stardom are about to be fulfilled by a talented Ipswich teenager. Only weeks ago Lucy Allen was treading the boards at the Regent but today she is preparing to make her debut in London's theatreland.

DREAMS of West End stardom are about to be fulfilled by a talented Ipswich teenager.

Only weeks ago Lucy Allen was treading the boards at the Regent but today she is preparing to make her debut in London's theatreland.

The 17-year-old Co-op Junior has been chosen to appear in the forthcoming anniversary production of Les Misérables as it celebrates 20 years on the London stage.

Lucy will join the chorus of the show for appearances in two of the acclaimed musical's most memorable songs - At the End of the Day and One Day More - when it is staged at its Queens Theatre home in October.

The Northgate Sixth Form student, who wowed and moved audiences as Fantine in the Juniors recent production of Les Misérables Schools Edition, won the chance to audition after the Juniors's directors sent off audition tapes to producers of the professional show.

Lucy said: "They asked me to audition for the 20th anniversary show so I went up to London last Saturday .

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"There were about 20 of us and we did a workshop to get to no everyone before we were asked to sing a song from the show. I sang I Dreamed A Dream which I had sung as Fantine.

"They told me that day that they wanted me to take part."

In the run up to the Co-op Juniors' production of Les Mis, the cast were taken to the Queens Theatre for a backstage tour and a chance to see the professional show. News that she will now be performing there is still sinking in, but Lucy is brimming with excitement.

"I couldn't believe it when they told me but I can't wait," she said.

"I never thought I'd be doing something like this. It's really exciting.

"Everyone at the Juniors is really happy too, although we haven't been back since Les Mis finished."

The news also comes as Lucy is still buzzing from her performance as Fantine at the Regent in the musical with which she was originally unfamiliar but which has now become her favourite.

She said: "It was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

"We were getting standing ovations. I loved it."

Appearing in the anniversary production of Les Misérables will now take Lucy, from Rushmere, a step nearer to her ultimate dream of making a career on the professional stage.

She has one more year of A Level studies to complete and she then hopes to go to stage school.

She added: "This is what I really want to do."

Les Misérables, which was recently voted the UK's best musical in a BBC Radio 2 poll, opened at the Barbican Theatre in 1985 and has remained on the London stage since.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh has put together a new cast to mark its 20th anniversary led by Welsh tenor John Owen Jones as Valjean.

It is hoped that the new cast will create another crop of Les Mis stars, just as the original 1985 show produced Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Frances Ruffelle, Roger Allum and Alun Armstrong.

Weblink: www.lesmis.com

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