A Derry teenager has made it through to the finals of a competition which could see her realise her dream of becoming a West End star.
Niamh Long (16) first auditioned for the London-based musical theatre singing competition West End Calling back in January.
She was selected to go through to the next round, and performed at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Leicester Square to a sold-out audience.
On Saturday March 25, at the semi-finals, Niamh performed ‘She Used to be Mine’ from ‘Waitress’.
The Derry girl wowed the West End judges and has now made it through to the Grand Final in April.
She was one of only six contestants, aged between eight and 21, to be hand-picked by judges including Ashleigh Gray (from ‘Wicked’ and ‘Cool Rider’) and Daniel Buckley (‘The Book of Mormon’ and ‘Loserville’).
Niamh received praise for her ability to take the audience on a journey.
She has also impressed judges with her dedication and focus throughout the competition.
Speaking about her experience, Niamh said: “West End Calling gives me the chance to see how other people work and makes me ask what can I bring to the industry that is different.
“I love music, and the rush that it gives you is almost like an escape, its like entering a new world. West End Calling is really fun and a fantastic opportunity. If you’re going to enter West End Calling, I would definitely do whatever you can to get the confidence to do it, it’s so helpful and plus, everyone is so lovely and encouraging.
“Getting feedback from West End professionals is really scary but amazing, to hear what they have to say is such a rare opportunity. Back home, in Ireland, we don’t have anything like this so it’s given me the boost I need for the next part of my performance life.
“I’m looking to apply for London-based drama schools, coming through the audition process has provided me with an insight to how it will feel. If I won, it would be amazing.”
West End Calling is a musical theatre singing competition for young performers and receives applicants from all over the UK.
The final takes places at the Ambassador’s Theatre, which is currently home to ‘Stomp’, on April 11.
In 2018, West End Calling will hold auditions at different locations around the UK. To keep up to date, check out: www.westendcalling.co.uk.