Lauren’s dream opportunity

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FOR anyone with aspirations of a career in musical theatre, an invitation to appear alongside West End and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall is about as good as it gets.

Just imagine then how thrilled 17-year-old Sudbury Upper School student Lauren Chinery must be after she earned the chance to perform in Ruthie Henshall and Guests: Care For a Song, a charity concert for Suffolk Family Carers, of which Ms Henshall is patron, at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich on November 20.

Lauren, from Great Yeldham, is currently playing the role of Lola in the Centre Stage Company’s production of Barry Manilow’s musical, Copacabana, which is in the middle of a five-night run at Haverhill Arts Centre.

She won the right to appear at the Regent Theatre after initially submitting a CV and a video of her performing a song.

This in turn led to a successful live audition, at which she performed When You’ve Got it Flaunt it, from The Producers, in front of Ms Henshall, the show’s musical director and stage manager.

For Lauren, who since making her debut with Centre Stage at the age of six, when she played Marta in the Sound of Music, has gone on to have the female lead in Oklahoma, Annie and All Shook Up, among others, it is a dream opportunity.

She said: “If you were a guitarist, it would be like performing with Eric Clapton.

“It’s someone you aspire to and look up to. It’s really exciting and I’m just really looking forward to it.

“It’s such a good chance to get some experience of what it is like to work alongside someone who is a professional.

“It’s the first time I’ve performed at the Regent and with someone of her standing in the musical theatre world – I’m so excited, and it’s for a good cause, so it couldn’t be better.”

Lauren is currently studying musical theatre, drama, dance and German at Sudbury Upper School, and is also managing to fit in a number of auditions at drama schools, including at ArtsEd in Chiswick, London, one of the top schools for producing West End performers.