Entertainment & Arts

Understudy Steph Parry lands lead role in 42nd Street

Image copyright Matt Crockett
Image caption Steph Parry (centre) with the 42nd Street ensemble

An understudy who made headlines by filling in for an injured actress in Mamma Mia! has been given the lead role in 42nd Street in London's West End.

Steph Parry stepped in to star in the Abba-inspired musical on 7 June.

At the time, she was an understudy on 42nd Street at a different theatre - and has now been promoted to play Dorothy Brock in the show's main cast.

The role has previously been played by Sheena Easton and Lulu. "It has been quite a couple of days," Parry said.

The 35-year-old's sudden ascent to fame mirrors the plot of 42nd Street, which tells of an understudy's rise from showgirl to star.

Parry was sitting in the dressing room at the Theatre Royal on London's Drury Lane when she got a call from the general manager of Mamma Mia!

He told her that Caroline Deverill had been forced off stage with a calf injury during the opening scene of the show at the nearby Novello Theatre.

Within just 18 minutes of the show being halted, Steph was on the stage playing Donna Sheridan, the role Meryl Streep played in the Mamma Mia! film.

"I didn't have time to worry," she told the BBC on Monday. "It was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life."

Parry's heroism saw her branded a "legend" by comedian Jason Manford and saw her interviewed by a string of news outlets.

The actress, who has already filled in on occasion for Lulu, will officially inherit the Dorothy Brock role on 9 July.

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