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In Profile: Lucy Thatcher

Actress Lucy ThatcherThe release of the video idents for West End Eurovision are always one of my favourite parts about the Eurovision-style event. Every year, the participating shows deliver with their superbly imagined creations and this year was no exception. Viva Forever! are one of the new shows to be taking part in WEE 2013 and their video ident, featuring the aged original cast whose contracts had bound them to the show forever, was highly entertaining and certainly matched the precedent that past shows have set. Following the news of the musical’s early closure however, it was also a little unfortunate to watch an ident which focal point was a show which will literally last ‘forever’ and included such statements as: “The critics all said it would close after six months.” This year will therefore be the only chance for Viva Forever! to take part in West End Eurovision, so it’s great to see them involved and I’m sure they’ll make the most of it. Before they step into the spotlight to unleash their spice-tastic Eurovision performance this Thursday night though, the In Profile spotlight is seeking out ensemble member Lucy Thatcher.

Lucy Thatcher is an experienced actress and dancer who trained at the prestigious Arts Educational School, winning the Harmer Smith Award for Outstanding Achievement during her time there. She graduated in 2002 and has since gone on to appear in a wide variety of stage productions all around the world, as well as in our renowned West End. Her earliest stage performances included tours with the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT), travelling to Japan with the first in a production of Pendragon where she played Morgan, and the second being a national tour of Into The Woods in the role of Witch.

In 2002, Thatcher was involved with theatrical productions at the Cannizaro Open Air Park Festival, playing Anita in West Side Story and also performing in Hamlet. This was followed by several projects with small, but reputable theatres such as the Landor Theatre, where she played Nadjiri in their production of The Apple Tree. She also appeared at the Bridewell Theatre in back-to-back productions there, firstly playing Flip in Happiness of Fish and then Tailor’s Wife in The Overcoat. She then embarked on her first professional tour since graduation, making her way around the UK in the touring production of Fiddler on the Roof, in which she played the principal role of eldest daughter Tzeitel. A second UK tour came straight afterwards, this time in Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Scrooge as a Beggar Woman.

Her return to London in 2004 saw her come to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, where she appeared in a number of productions there, including the Lerner and Lowe musical Camelot, in which she played Lady. She performed in two more of AD Ian Talbot’s productions for the Open Air Theatre; the Shakespearean works of Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which she played Traveller and Moth respectively. She then moved on to the Regent’s Park Studio Theatre to perform as Sister Thorn in The Babysitter there.

It was back to the road for Thatcher after that, traveling to the English Theatre, Frankfurt where she played Kit Kat Girl in a production of the musical Cabaret. She also traveled to America with the 2008 US tour of The Rat Pack as Helvetia Burelli, playing the same role at the Savoy Theatre in the West End too. Subsequent theatre projects included playing Frida in ABBA Fever (Canadian Tour), Lucy in Icons in London (The Venue), Jackie in All Bob’s Women (Arts Theatre), Shirley Maclaine in That’s Amore (UK & US Tour), Rose Seller in Oliver! (Municipal Theatre, Cyprus), Anya in Imagine This (New London Theatre) and Adriana in Comedy of Errors (Changeling Theatre Company). She has also become a familiar face on the cabaret circuit, having appeared at such venues as Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza On The Park and The Theatre Museum and performed the one-woman show which she wrote and produced herself, Smoke and Pearls at the Canal Café. In addition, she has been passing on the benefit of her experience through musical theatre workshops and classes for schools, clubs and colleges.

Thatcher most recently appeared at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End transfer of critically acclaimed RSC musical Matilda, adapted from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book. Now she is now performing in the ensemble of Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre. The Spice Girls musical is set to close there on 29th June 2013. Viva Forever! might not have been able to secure lasting success on the stage, but Lucy Thatcher has proven that she certainly can and I look forward to seeing where she goes to from here.

By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)

Saturday 18th May 2013