Lauren Samuels On ... VampiretteDate: 20 April 2012
Lauren Samuels has come a long way since featuring in Over the Rainbow - the BBC's search for Dorothy. She has since starred in the West End version of Grease, done the fandango in We Will Rock You, performed at the Oliviers just last week and is about to star in the lead role in a new musical - Vampirette which hits Manchester next month. We caught up with her to find out more.
What is the premise of Vampirette and what attracted you to it?
It’s a comic story about a family of vampires trying to fit into a human world and all the trials and tribulations that go with it! I was very attracted to the idea of working on a brand new piece and creating a role for the first time. I can’t wait.
Vampires are all the rage with Twilight, Rocky Horror still popular as ever and Vampire Diaries on TV. What is it about them that remains timeless?
I think it’s the fantasy that people enjoy escaping to it. The idea of a secret world and immortality – it all seems very appealing.
The songs are well known to audiences. What are your favourites?
They certainly are! I would say my favourites are "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (such a classic!) and "Windmills of my Mind", which is so beautiful.
Much of your work has been in London. Will it make a nice change for you to leave the big smoke?
Yes I am really looking forward to being in a different city. I hear Manchester is very loyal to its theatre, so I’m excited to see what the audiences will be like.
You recently performed at the Oliviers. What was that like?
A dream come true! It was an amazing evening that I’ll never forget. There were so many legendary people there and being on the gorgeous Royal Opera House stage with Brian May was out of this world. I could gush all day!
Have you enjoyed We Will Rock You? It looks fun to work on - is it?
Yes, WWRY has been amazing. It’s so much fun. I dreamt of playing Scaramouche for years after first watching it. So realising one of my dreams has been unbelievable. I’ll miss it loads.
You have starred in Grease and WWRY. Would you play Dorothy if asked or do you prefer more adult roles?
Because of my size and age I tend to get cast as more teenage roles and I was lucky enough to play Dorothy at a huge Amphitheatre in Cyprus last year, which I loved! I love the challenge of any role I have to say – so whatever comes my way I’ll take a stab at!
What's been your favourite job on stage so far?
Definitely Scaramouche! I love her! Performing Queen songs every night is amazing and I love the comic aspect of the show. It’s made me realise how much I’d like to do more comedy in the future.
You took quite a bit of constructive criticism during Over the Rainbow. What did you learn from it?
It’s very difficult to put not only your talent but also your personality on telly for millions to judge, so at times it was very soul destroying. I learnt how tough you have to be in this industry. There can be a lot of setbacks but you have to pick yourself up and carry on. It’s all about hard work.
Lastly, why do you think audiences should come and see Vampirette?
I think it will be unlike anything people have ever seen. It has some cracking well known tunes, great big dance numbers with awesome choreography and a fantastic line up of cast members! Oh and did I mention flying?!
Lauren Samuels was speaking to Glenn Meads
Vampirette is at the Manchester Opera House from 4 - 19 May.