Born in Lancashire, England, O’Connor was raised and trained in Australia before returning to the UK to attend the Royal Ballet School. Her many previous West End musical credits include Me and My Girl, Hot Stuff, Cabaret, Romance Romance, The Rink, Is There Life After High School? and Mack and Mabel, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award in 1996.
Down Under, O’Connor’s credits have included West Side Story, Oklahoma, Man of La Mancha and Chicago (as Velma Kelly), in which she also made her Broadway debut in 2002. On screen, she has played “Nini Legs-in-the-Air” in Moulin Rouge and appeared in this year’s Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely.
Bombshells was written especially for O’Connor by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith (whose Honour was mounted at the National last year). A series of six monologues, O’Connor plays characters of multiple nationalities and ages, from 15 to 64.
The show premiered in Melbourne in 2001 and was recently a sell-out in Sydney. In Edinburgh, where an abridged version continues at the Assembly Rooms until 30 August 2004, Bombshells has been awarded a Fringe First (See News, 13 Aug 2004), and yesterday O’Connor was nominated for Best Actress in The Stage’s festival awards (See News, 24 Aug 2004).
The Arts Theatre is currently dark. Booking for Bombshells is due to open today.
- by Terri Paddock