The Adelphi Theatre has been home to some pretty great shows in its time, most recently inviting audiences in for Love Never Dies and Sweeney Todd. It is the stage adaption of 1992 film The Bodyguard which audiences go there to see now, and with good reason. The original film, which starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, remains a classic love story which is still highly popular and plenty of its theatre and non-theatre fans have gone to see its on-stage re-telling. The early passing of Whitney Houston has also resulted in turning The Bodyguard into a tribute of sorts to her timeless back-catalogue of songs. One of the main reasons for going to see the musical though has to be its phenomenal cast. It’s no secret that Heather Headley, who plays the lead role of Rachel Marron, has a super set of lungs on her, but there is an explosion of talent throughout the entire cast, including the ensemble team. Part of that talent undoubtedly belongs to Lucinda Shaw, which is why she is the featured ensemble member in this week’s In Profile.
Lucinda Shaw trained for a career on the stage a long way from London’s West End; all the way in Australia in fact. She is a graduate of Brent Street, the leading performing arts school in Sydney, Australia which has been providing high quality performing arts training since it was established in 1986.
After she completed her Brent Street training, Shaw went on to perform in a variety of productions while still residing Down Under. She was part of the company of Sweet Charity at the State Theatre in Melbourne and Pippin at Sydney Theatre, as well as playing the Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Cremorne Theatre, Queensland. She also travelled in several touring productions, including as the understudy for the title role in Australian tour of Dusty The Musical.
At only 23 years of age, Shaw secured her first leading role there in a production of Monty Python’s Spamalot at Her Majesty’s Theatre. She played the show’s only principal female character, The Lady of The Lake, drawing inspiration for the role from a range of the world’s current day divas, such as Sarah Brightman, Celine Dion, Liza Minnelli and Whitney Houston. In an interview on the theatre’s website, she described it playing a lead role in a musical of this calibre as ‘a thrill’ and said that every day, “I thank my lucky stars for the position I’m in.”
As Shaw’s career started to move along, so did she; relocating to London to pursue a career in the UK theatre scene. She launched her UK invasion in the role of Violet in It’s A Wonderful Life at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and then went on to play The Enchantress in Sleeping Beauty at the Birmingham Hippodrome. She has also played Mazeppa and unstudied the role of Mama Rose in the production of Gypsy at the Curve, Leicester and was involved in Mercury Musical Development’s X. She added one of her most prolific roles to date to the list of theatre credits when she made her West End debut in the original London production of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Shaw joined the company at the Palace Theatre, playing one of the musical’s Divas. Her other theatre credits include performing in Bohemian Rhapsody on the national tour and in Monte Carlo and appearing in two touring productions of Queen musical We Will Rock You, covering the roles of Scaramouche, Meat and Killer Queen on the Japanese tour and playing the alternate Killer Queen on the Hong Kong and Thailand tour.
Shaw returned to the West End for the second time as part of the original London cast of The Bodyguard, which opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 5th December 2012. She is a member of the ensemble in the musical, which has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike.
Life is looking good for Lucinda Shaw here in the UK. She is currently appearing in one of the West End’s biggest musicals, dating Rock of Ages star Simon Lipkin, has accrued an impressive collection of theatre credits in her career so far and her name is being noticed more and more. Life is certainly looking good for this talented young stage actress, but her future is looking even better,
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 23rd March 2013