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Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter dancing for joy at Fame - The Musical role

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 29 October 2018

Jorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTON

Jorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTON

©Tristram Kenton

Hollyoaks actress Jorgie Porter makes her stage debut in the 30th anniversary tour of Fame - The Musical, at the Ipswich Regent from tomorrow.

Jorgie Porter is know for shows like Hollyoaks and Dancing On Ice Picture: CONTRIBUTEDJorgie Porter is know for shows like Hollyoaks and Dancing On Ice Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Alan Parker’s 1980 movie became a pop culture phenomenon.

The forebear of TV series like Glee, it followed the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they tackle issues still as relevant today like love, prejudice, identity, pride, literacy, sexuality, substance abuse and perseverance.

Playing Iris Kelly is Jorgie Porter, is best known for her role as Theresa McQueen in the Channel 4 drama serial Hollyoaks. It’s a role which saw her nominated for Best Serial Drama Performance at the National Television Awards and Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards.

The face of major international skin care brand Proactiv+, she also played Miss Croft in BBC1’s highly acclaimed remake of Are You Being Served.

Jorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTONJorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTON

The FHM’s Front Cover Girl was a contestant on the seventh series of Dancing On Ice on ITV, making it all the way to the final where she finished runner up. She returned for Dancing On Ice: Champion Of Champions and has appeared on shows like I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, Lip Sync Battle and Celebrity First Dates in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

The show opened in her home city Manchester and gave Jorgie the chance to pull on her ballet shoes for the first time in a long while. Apologising for missing my call moments earlier, I caught up with her in Wales, just a few weeks into the show’s run.

Q: What are you up to today?

Jorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTONJorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTON

I’ve literally just woke up I think I’ve had the best sleep of my life and I’m quite an energetic person today (laughs).

Q: You’re having fun?

We’ve done Manchester, Glasgow, Wales. It is amazing. I am having the best time being on tour, going to a different city each week. Sometimes I get bored in the same place. Having people to hang around with, going for brunch every day, being in a show I absolutely love; dancing and getting to do ballet again - this is my dream job.

Jorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTONJorgie Porter plays Iris Kelly in Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent Picture: TRISTRAM KENTON

Q: This is your stage debut?

Yeah. When I first started with Hollyoaks I was really lucky it became eight years non-stop, but you just cannot do anything else that much inbetween. I did Dancing on Ice but that kind of TV just takes over a bit. When I had a break in LA I was having acting classes and stuff and I really missed doing live things. I told my agent I want to do acting, I really want to do dancing. Everyone suggested Strictly but I wanted to dance on the stage.

Q: You studied ballet?

I grew up and right from the age of three I was want to be a prima ballerina. I wanted to do football for a year, I think that was when I (started) fancying boys. I wasn’t very good at that (the football), I’d just rather watch it, so went back to dance (she laughs). I got into The Hammond School in Chester by a scholarship fortunately, because we would never have been able to afford it.

Q: Are you and your character, Iris, alike in any way?

Personally, I would never hide. Iris has a big façade and she’s embarrassed, I think, the way that she was raised. We don’t go to much into her background. Me and Nick Winston (the director and choregrapher) said her dad is a chauffer but everyone thinks that’s her car... they’re poor but they love the fact she dances and will do anything for her to dance. That was the thing with my family. My mum would draw paintings to sell to keep me in dancewear, that sort of thing, I had second-hand hand-me-downs.

Q: Can we expect to see you back in Hollyoaks?

I’d never say never. To go back wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’m just enjoying seeing new things, new people and new experiences because as much as I love Hollyoaks it’s kind of restricting in an acting situation. I love the fact I do get to do different things now.

Q: Were you a fan of the movie Fame?

I wasn’t born when it came out, but the songs are always close to your heart because you heard them as a kid and you always get excited because it brings back those memories. Obviously I watched it for research and our version is pretty gritty, quite deep and quite shocking.

Q: These are issues youngsters are still dealing with today?

I think it’s important you don’t tiptoe around these things. If it’s a shock to see on the stage, parents say to their kids “how do you feel about that” so I feel like it’s a talking point, that it’s okay to talk about it. Sexuality, racial issues, drug abuse; I’m really glad it’s coming out and we’re talking about it.

• See Fame - The Musical at the Ipswich Regent, October 29-November 3. It also stars Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’s Keith Jack and chart topper Mica Paris.

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