Earlier this week I went along to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for a write-up of the renowned venue’s latest resident show, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
As per usual, I took my daughter along with me as she is a musical theatre fan too, but this time we had extra company: my two nieces who had never been to the theatre before. There couldn’t have been a more perfect show for them to see on their first outing because reading is something which has always been encouraged in my family, and as any bookworm will know, Road Dahl’s books are a must-have in any home. I grew up reading Dahl, as have they and my daughter, so the story of little Charlie Bucket’s magical adventure with the enigmatic Willy Wonka inside his chocolate factory is one we were all familiar with. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and the theatre industry has subsequently gained two new fans. A large part of the reason for that was the outstanding performances turned in by the cast. Included in that of course are the ever-popular Oompa-Loompas, who were brought to life by a highly talented ensemble line-up. Featured amongst them was Natalie Moore-Williams, who is also the ensemble member featured in this week’s edition of In Profile.
Natalie Moore-Williams, who originates from the Scottish region of Waterloo, Wishaw, has worked long and hard to get to where she is now: performing in a hit West End musical. Her love of the stage began as a child, and at the age of just six years old she was performing at the Clarke Theatre School. When she was later offered a place at one of Scotland’s top Universities however, she faced the choice of whether to focus her energies on her education or pursuing a career on the stage. In what was ultimately a good decision as far as West End audiences must be concerned, she decided that performing was her passion, and after turning down her place at St. Andrews she instead applied to Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts and made the daunting move to London. The Sidcup-based drama school has a high-standing reputation and has already produced such well-known names as Gavin Lee, John Partridge, Lara Pulver and Melanie Chisholm, who previously found success as Mel C (aka. Sporty Spice) in classic British girl band The Spice Girls. Moore-Williams entered the school on a scholarship and went on to graduate with a BA (Hons) in Theatre Performance. She is now following in their footsteps as she attempts to carve out a name for herself in the musical theatre world too.
Her first professional stage role actually came while she was still training at Bird College. At the request of a West End agent, she auditioned for Cameron Mackintosh’s upcoming UK Tour of My Fair Lady and joined the production as Vesta Tilley/Higgens Servant. Since then she has appeared in a stream of other shows, including taking a trip to Norway to perform in the company of Chess at Oslo’s Spektrum Arena. She also played Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse (Albany Theatre).
Some of her other notable credits also include such shows as the UK and European Tour of Evita and the revival of A Wonderful Town, (Royal Exchange and UK Tour) in which she understudied and played the role of Ruth Sherwood. She also performed as a soloist for Momentum at the Royal Opera House and played Maid Marian in Robin Hood at the Brick Lane Music Hall. Most recently, she was to be found at the London Palladium performing in the production of Scrooge! She appeared as Beth in the musical and also understudied and played Mary/Mrs Pringle.
Now she has entered the magical world of Dahl with the cast of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She plays three roles on stage: news reporter Cherry Sunday, sweet stall owner Mrs Pratchett, and of course, one of the Oompa-Loompas.
Life is looking pretty good for Natalie Moore-Williams right now. She’s come from weekly dance classes in her home town in Scotland to performing on the West End stage in one of the biggest shows in town, under the direction of the award-winning Sam Mendes. Roald Dahl’s stories have a central theme of dreams coming true, and for her, they certainly have. It only remains to be seen where this talented young performer goes next.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Page updated 19th October 2014