Lauren Samuels, who came third in BBC casting competition Over The Rainbow, may not be making her way down the yellow brick road but she will be heading to the West End when she joins the cast of Grease at the Piccadilly theatre from 26 July.
Samuels takes over from another former talent show contestant, Siobhan Dillon, to play the lead role of Sandy in the classic romantic musical.
A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Acting, Samuels was one of the few Over The Rainbow finalists to have professional experience, having made her stage debut in a production of Peter Pan in Leicester.
“I am so unbelievably excited to be joining the wonderful cast of Grease,” commented Samuels. “It was one of the first musicals I was taken to see as a young child and so to be given the opportunity to recreate the iconic role of Sandy and to make my West End debut in the show is a dream come true. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!”
Grease tells the iconic love story of Sandy and Danny, two final year students at Rydell High. The show premiered on Broadway in 1972 and went on to be made into a hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as the love-struck teens. Packed with sing-along tunes, the score features the famous numbers You’re The One That I Want, Greased Lightnin’ and Summer Nights.
This production of Grease opened in the West End in 1993, running for six years before embarking on an international tour. It returned to London in 2007, and will celebrate its third year in the West End on 25 July.
Samuels, who is scheduled to play Sandy to 22 January 2011, will star alongside former pop star Noel Sullivan, who continues in the role of Danny.