One of several new musicals which opened in the West End last year, Memphis The Musical has been a smash hit success that earned multiple awards here in London, including two Laurence Olivier Awards. There will be many a fan sad to lose such a popular show when the production closes at the Shaftesbury Theatre this October, but we will also be saying goodbye to a fantastic company of performers which includes original cast member Helen Siveter. This highly skilled actress, singer and dancer has been working in the industry for over a decade, and her talent and contribution to the stage is recognised here in the pages of In Profile.
Helen Siveter trained at the Linda Butler School of Dance and Bird College of Dance, graduating from the latter with a BA Hons in Acting/Dancing/Musical Theatre in 1999. She soon secured her first professional role playing Gloria in the UK touring production of Oh! What A Night!, and from there, has gone on to firmly establish herself as a major player in the world of musical theatre. She spent some time as Dance Captain and performer aboard P&O Aurora, playing Patty Simcox in Grease, Ela Delahey in Charley’s Aunt, and also appearing in the shows Elvis The Musical, Half a Sixpence and Jolson.
She returned to dry land after that, but continued to travel as part of the UK touring production of Saturday Night Fever, in which she played Rosalie and also covered the role of Shirley. She then headed back to London to make her West End debut in the revival production of the musical Fame, playing Lambchops and also understudying the role of dancer Carmen.
Following her time in Fame, she was cast in an international production of Rent at the English Theatre Frankfurt, performing in the ensemble and covering Joanne/Mimi, in addition to being the show’s Dance Captain. Then it was back to the road, and Fame, again, this time joining the UK tour of Fame as a member of the ensemble and as cover to the role of Miss Bell. This was closely followed by a more extensive travelling period, which saw her play the role of Ali in the International Tour of Mamma Mia!
She found herself back in the West End at the end of the tour, rocking the audience in the Queen musical, We Will Rock You, at the Dominion Theatre as a Swing in the 2008/09 company, which was led by Ricardo Afonso and Sabrina Aloueche and also starred Mazz Murray, Alex Bourne, Ian Carlyle, Rachel Tucker, Garry Lake and Brian McCann. She then spent the time between 2010 and 2012 as a Swing in another jukebox musical, ABBA’s Mamma Mia!, at both the Prince of Wales Theatre and Novello Theatre.
She was most recently seen as a Swing in the West End production of the RSC’s Matilda The Musical, which is still going strong at the Cambridge Theatre.
Her other theatre credits include Mother Goose (Oxford Playhouse, Peter Pan (Reading Hexagon), Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Bristol Hippodrome) and The Wiz (Hackney Empire). She has also been involved in a number of concerts, such as Spirit of Fire (Royal Albert Hall), West End to Broadway (Palace Theatre) and Tommy in Concert (Palace Theatre), as well as appearing as a singer for CABBAret! and a dancer for The Rhythmics. Additionally, she has worked as a choreographer on both In Touch (Bridewell Theatre) and Rent (Garrick Theatre).
Since 9th October 2014, she has been performing as part of the original London cast of Memphis The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The award-winning production currently stars Matt Cardle and Beverly Knight as Huey and Felicia, with Siveter performing in the role of Ensemble Swing/Main St. Female/Dancer/Singer.
Helen Siveter is a highly talented performer who is a joy to behold on stage. She has done the rounds as a swing/ensemble member and covered a variety of principal roles, but is yet to find herself in a full-time principal role. Time can be a friend or an enemy to us all, but time is surely on the side of this rising star.
You can follow Helen on Twitter: @siveter
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Saturday 29th August 2015