Burnley actress' West End debut with TV’s Matt Smith

Lisa-Marie Ashworth will make her West End debut this Sunday. (s)
Lisa-Marie Ashworth will make her West End debut this Sunday. (s)

It’s apt this Burnley actress is starring alongside a Time Lord - the last Dr Who AKA Matt Smith - as no doubt she’ll want to relive her West End debut again and again.

National Youth Theatre member Lisa-Marie Ashworth will perform with the TV star on Sunday in a gala production at The Shaftesbury Theatre, London, marking the company’s 60th anniversary. And it promises to be a star-studded affair with past members Daisy Lewis, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes also joining the cast on stage.

But that’s not all: the 20-year-old actress has also been selected to play the title role in an extract of “Silence” by Moira Buffini.

“To perform in the West End,” she said, “is every actor’s dream and to perform beside some of the top actors in the country will make the experience extra special. I can’t wait for Sunday!”

The opportunity follows two appearances in The Open Court season at Chelsea’s Royal Court Theatre, renowned for welcoming new and original writing.

Her first was a one-woman performance of a new script by young writer Tom Fowler called “Roman Candle”.

“It was a fabulous script,” Lisa-Marie said, “funny but also emotional and upsetting. The audience were laughing at one point and crying at another. I have never had a response from an audience like it.”

Then, in “Drinking Concrete”, she collaborated with directors, composers and young writers on an original and thought-provoking piece of theatre.

And it all began at Unity College where she starred as “Maria” in “West Side Story”, later going on to study theatre and performing arts at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form.

Later this month she will take up her place at the prestigious East 15 Acting School in London on a BA Acting course.

“I love performing on stage,” she said, “and love the instant feedback from an audience, so I hope to have a career which allows me to do this.”