Lauren on the stage at the Savoy Theatre
Lauren's fairground ride
By Neil Foster
It's a long way from the Milton Rooms in Malton to the Savoy Theatre in the West End. Lauren Hood has made the journey and is now starring in the new production of Carousel. BBC Radio York's Neil Foster went to meet her...
It's taken Lauren Hood almost 20 years to hit the big time, and like Scarborough's Ben James Ellis, she's now starring in a lavish West End musical.
Lauren started performing at the age of four and now stars alongside Lesley Garrett in the new production of Carousel. She sings some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's best loved songs, including "When The Children Are Asleep" and "Mister Snow".
Lauren and Neil
Lauren had to audition nine times for the part of Carrie Pipperidge - which she now plays eight times a week.
"I got the call and I was hysterical. I kept having to pinch myself. It was a dream come true."
I met up with Lauren in her dressing room at The Savoy Theatre on the Strand. We talked about how she started her performing career in North Yorkshire:
"I joined Kirkham Henry, which is in Malton, when I was about four, and did dance classes. I did amateur shows in Malton, and then at theatres in York. It was really at that point I thought, "this is what I'd like to do as a career. I'd like to do this and get paid for it!"
In spite of the glamour of life in the West End, does she miss North Yorkshire?
"I miss it so much. You miss the fact that you can't just pop round your nana's for a cup of tea. One day off a week is not enough to go back up to Yorkshire every week."
Carousel at the Savoy Theatre, London
Life as an actor is not for the faint-hearted, and Lauren says her choice of career put a huge strain on her family, both financially and emotionally. When I ask her about what their support has meant, she gets tears in her eyes:
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. My mum and dad are the most supportive people in the world, and my godfather Chris and my boyfriend Mark. They've had to make huge sacrifices, but it's finally paying off. Now when they come and see the show, I can take them out for a meal."
last updated: 30/03/2009 at 11:56