Former Burnley girl set to make West End debut in 20th anniversary production of smash hit musical MAMMA MIA!

Grace Moorhouse had just been born when the musical MAMMA MIA! premiered in the West End.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 4:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 4:36 pm
Gifted Grace Moorhouse, who is originally from Burnley, is set to make her debut on the West End stage in the 20th anniversary production of MAMMA MIA!

Now, as the smash hit show celebrates its 20th anniversary, Grace has won herself a part in the production that has become a worldwide sensation.

News that former Burnley girl Grace had won the part was announced yesterday.

Grace, who has been studying Musical Theatre and Dance at Laine Theatre Arts, an independent performing arts college in Surrey, auditioned for the show with four other fellow students, who also won roles, and their success means they are making their professional debuts on the West End stage.

Five weeks of rehearsals begins next week for Grace and then she is signed up for a year in the show at the Novello Theatre.

Grace, a former student at Burnley's St Mary Magdalene's RC Primary School, said: "I am really excited about the show, it is such a fantastic opportunity for me to have my first professional job in the West End after finishing college."

Grace was among dozens of hopefuls chosen to audition for the show which tested her singing, acting and dancing skills to the limit.

And Grace literally did follow the old theatrical term of 'break a leg' meaning good luck, when she broke her foot just before the last round of auditions.

Grace said: "It happened while I was in rehearsals for a show at college but by then the producers of MAMMA MIA! had already seen my dancing and they were happy with it."

Grace and her fellow students from Laine were told they had won parts at the end of February but they had to keep it under their their hats until this week when the new cast was announced for the anniversary show.

Grace moved from Burnley to live in Devon several years ago with her parents, Gary and Fran Moorhouse and her older sister Bethany.

Also a talented actress, dancer and singer, Bethany is now a cruise director with Celebrity Cruises.

Grace, whose boyfriend Callum Leech lives in Devon, is part of the ensemble but she is also understudying the role of one of the two friends to the main character, Sophie.

The irresistible feelgood musical based on the music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of Abba has become a global smash hit around the world

The uplifting story of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads on a Greek island idyll, all unfolding to the magic of Abba's timeless pop masterpieces, has now been seen live on stage by 65 million people across the world.

It has also been turned into two record-breaking movies - MAMMA MIA! The Movie and MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again featuring some of the world's top stars including Meryl Streep, Cher, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters and Colin Firth.

The show originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004, and then to the Novello in 2012.

The London production of MAMMA MIA! has been seen by over 8.9 million people, played over 8,000 performances and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes.