Plenty of stage musicals have been adapted for the big screen over the years, with Sondheim’s Into The Woods next to join the ranks when it hits cinemas in the new year. The transition from stage-to-screen doesn’t always go smoothly for some, but for others, the movie treatment takes them to greater heights of popularity. A film adaption of the ABBA musical, Mamma Mia!, was released in 2008, featuring such Hollywood stars as Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried and Colin Firth. It was generally very well-received and was a success at the box office, although certain actors came under fire for their singing abilities – Brosnan in particular.
No-one could criticise any member of the West End musical’s current cast though, which had a cast shake-up in June and continues to boast a company of highly skilled and talented singers, dancers and actors. One of these recent additions to the Mamma Mia family was the lovely Sorelle Marsh, who has featured in many theatrical productions and now features as the ensemble member for this week’s edition of In Profile.
Sorelle Marsh is a talented stage performer who has over ten years of experience in the industry. She was accepted into the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) on the Musical Theatre course and spent three years training at the school, although she has been working towards a career on the stage from a very young age, having taken Ballet, Tap and Modern Dance since she was three. She later joined the Berkshire Youth dance company.
She graduated from GSA with a 1st Class BA Hons in Musical Theatre and is now part of an impressive list of alumni with includes such stage stars as Michael Ball, Caroline Sheen, Daniel Boys, Willemijn Verkaik and Dianne Pilkington, the latter of whom is now appearing alongside her in Mamma Mia as Alternate Donna.
Marsh made one of her first professional appearances post-graduation in a classic musical, playing Rizzo/Patty in a production of Grease at the Opera House, Jersey. From there, she had an ensemble role in the Bridewell Theatre’s production of Victor/Victoria and was then cast in the UK tour of Tell Me On A Sunday, covering the role of The Girl which was alternated between leading ladies Marti Webb, Faye Tozer and Patsy Palmer.
After her time on the road came to an end, she performed in a couple of theatrical concert events, singing in Manhattan Nights and then returning to Jersey Opera House as a lead vocalist in West End Girls. She also played Hutton in brand new musical comedy, Into The Air, at the New Players Theatre in London and was an ensemble singer in South Pacific at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
The following year she went on the road again, this time joining the UK tour of Beauty and The Beast in the role of Madame De la Grande Bouche. She continued her travels with the touring company of Fame after that, playing Miss Bell and as understudy to the role of Miss Sherman. Then it was the UK tour of Fiddler On The Roof, playing Anya and 1st cover to the roles of Fruma Sarah and Tzeitel.
In 2009, she returned to put roots down in London after being cast in her first big West End musical. She made her début at the Victoria Palace Theatre in Billy Elliot as a Swing and 2nd cover to the role of Dead Mam. Having had her first real taste of being a West End performer, she remained there after leaving Billy Elliot and moved across town to the Savoy Theatre to join the company of Legally Blonde, where she played Saleswoman/Mum and was Alternate Paulette. She was later promoted to the full-time role of Paulette, starring alongside the likes of Carly Stenson (Elle), Stephen Ashfield (Emmett Forrest), Peter Davison (Professor Callahan) and Ben Freeman (Warner Huntington III).
After two years in the show she moved on to other projects, first tackling the role of Tessie in a production of White Christmas at The Lowry, Salford. She then played Vicky Monroe in the world première of the musical Stand Up at the Floral Pavilion Theatre in Wirral, appearing as part of the West End cast which supported Darren Day, Billy Pierce, Lionel Blair, Ian Parkin and Dean Sullivan on stage.
She made an appearance at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre over the venue’s Christmas period in 2013, playing Tessie/Seamstress 2 in White Christmas alongside Steve Houghton, Paul Robinson and Wendi Peters.
She was most recently seen in the production of Hairspray at the Leicester Curve, which ran from 28th February to 5th April 2014. She played Female Authority Figure in the popular musical, which starred Rebecca Craven as Tracy Turnblad and also featured Callum Train (Corny Collins), Damian Williams (Edna Turnblad), Zizi Strallen (Penny Pingleton), Sophie-Louise Dann (Velma Von Tussle), David Witts (Link Larkin), John Barr (Wilbur Turnblad) and Claudia Kariuki (Motormouth).
She has many other credits to her name away from the stage, such as her involvement in West End Theatre Workshops, which provides schools with workshops, master classes, summer schools and so forth, led by West End professionals. She has also taught Dance and Early Stages at a variety of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools.
Sorelle Marsh is now currently appearing in the West End production of Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre, joining the show in the cast change on 9th June 2014. She performs as a member of the ensemble team and also understudies a number of prominent roles in the show, including 2nd cover to the lead role of Donna. She is also 3rd cover Rosie and 2nd cover Tanya, playing the role of the latter on stage for the first time on 24th July. She has often been on the receiving end of praise from audiences and critics throughout her career, and this bright talent, with a wealth of experience and achievements to her name, has more than proven her worth already.
You can follow Sorelle on Twitter: @sorellemarsh
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Saturday 2nd August 2014