LOCAL actress Lilly-Jane Young has secured a glamorous role as Wendy in a huge touring show based on Peter Pan.
Lilly-Jane (22), who grew up in Cumbernauld and whose grandparents still live in Westfield, is Wendy in Peter Pan: The Neverending Story, a major production which comes to Glasgow’s SECC Hydro in January.
To this self-confessed “musicals geek” this feels rather like coming full circle. “When I was a little girl my granddad and I used to play Peter Pan together. We did our own pantomimes and this led to me being sent for singing lessons to see if I had any talent.”
The verdict here was obvious and after Westfield Primary School Lilly-Jane trained at the Dance School of Scotland Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She has been in demand since graduating. and immediately landed a role in an international theatre tour. While in Asia she was snapped up for the role of Wendy.
“When my granddad found out I got the part he cried because he felt I’d been born to do this,” said Lilly-Jane.
The show has been in development for around 18 months and an early version has already been performed in Belgium and Holland.
“The show is now coming to the UK in its final form,” said Lilly-Jane. “We’ve finished adding to it. The response so far has been great and I’ve been sent messages from mums who said their children were so inspired they’ve started getting singing and dancing lessons themselves. That’s really special for me as it’s how I would have reacted if I’d seen this show as a child.”
The role of Wendy is a demanding one.
“The main challenges from this show are that it’s so high tech,” said Lilly-Jane.
“I have to be able to do all the usual things like sing, dance and act but I also have fighting and flying sequences. It’s amazing fun flying with Peter, it feels like I’m really in Neverland. And this Wendy doesn’t shrink away from a fight, she gets stuck right in! It’s quite hard learning how to do the fights, it takes so much energy and concentration with trained acrobats doing backflips and things everywhere.”
The show tours the UK beginning next month with the SSE Hydro performances in Glasgow scheduled for January 10-12.
For tickets visit www.theticketfactory.com or call 0844 338 8000. Also, see next week’s News and Chronicle for your chance to win tickets.