Saturday 16th June 2012 marks the end of an era for the London West End production of Les Miserables as the current cast take to the stage for their last performance together tonight. Hadley Fraser, David Shannon, Lisa-Anne Wood, Scott Garnham, Alexia Khadime…these are just a few cast favourites who will be saying goodbye to the Queen’s Theatre to move on to pastures new. With such names as Geronimo Rauch, Tam Mutu and Danielle Hope leading the incoming charge, fans can rest assured that Les Mis is in safe hands, but the excitement of a new cast always come attached with a little sadness at the loss of the old; especially with this company. The 2011/12 cast of Les Mis were one of the strongest in recent years and will be missed by the theatregoers, so in one last hurrah, this week’s In Profile features ensemble member Zoe Doano.
Doano first appeared in the public eye when she was a contestant on the 2007 BBC1 televised casting show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? in which Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber searched to find a ‘Maria’ for his production of The Sound of Music. The show was eventually won by Connie Fisher, but it didn’t spell the end of the road for Doano, who went on to earn a Training in Musical Theatre grant from the BBC Performing Arts Fund in 2007 and 2008. This afforded her the “fantastic opportunity” to attend the Arts Educational Schools, London, where she trained professionally for three years. During her time there, she appeared on stage in productions of Betwixt (Kings Head), Fly With The Stars (London Palladium) and Cinderella (Assembly Hall Royal, Tunbridge Wells), as well as playing Florence Nightingale in Nightingale (The Posk Theatre) and Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone (ArtsEd).
Doano graduated from the ArtsEd musical theatre course in 2009 and made her professional debut shortly thereafter in the UK tour of The Sound of Music, understudying the role of Liesl (2009-2010). After a stint in panto playing Snow White at the Hawth Theatre, she was cast in the West End production of Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre as Frenchy and understudy Sandy (2010-2011).
She joined the current company of Les Mis in the June 2011 cast change. Doano’s role in the long-running musical is Ensemble/Whore, and she is also first cover to the principal role of Cosette, having played the part on stage on a number of occasions. As part of the Les Mis team, Doano has also performed with the cast in their regular Les Mis Gives… cabaret series at the Delfont Room and took part in the 2011 MADTrust concert A West End Christmas.
Zoe Doano is a bright talent with a face to match the beauty of her voice. A polished performer with a voice like liquid gold, the talent of this young soprano is going to carry her past those high notes and onto the dizzying heights of stardom.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 16th June 2012
You can follow Zoe Doano on Twitter: @zoedoano