Adventures In Theatreland
London’s theatre district – Theatreland – is one of my favourite parts of the city. There’s nothing quite like the heady atmosphere of the West End on a Saturday night when audiences are streaming into the theatres that line Shaftesbury Avenue and the Strand to see a play or a musical.
I visit the theatre as often as I can, and I knew for a long time that I wanted to write a novel set in that world. Not that I’ve ever had any ambition to be a professional actress (I did take to the amateur stage as a teenager, but I always wanted to be an author!), but most of my relatives and many of my friends are actors or dancers or film-makers or choreographers or casting directors, and I find their work fascinating. My latest novel, There She Goes, is women’s contemporary fiction/romance set among the on-stage and off-stage dramas, hopes and dreams of an aspiring actress.
My chance to find out exactly what goes into putting on a professional show first came when my now adult children were young and my eldest daughter (now a professional dancer and choreographer) was chosen as one of the ‘babes’ in the juvenile chorus of a pantomime. This is how I first became a ‘stage mother’ – although I hope I avoided turning into the pushy stereotype! It was so exciting to stand in the wings watching my kids performing on stage!
When I was researching There She Goes, I was lucky enough to have backstage tours at several London theatres, and I must admit that standing centre stage in the West End and looking out into the auditorium at the rows of tiered seats was thrilling! How wonderful to step into the spotlight six nights a week and twice on Wednesdays and Saturdays, to sing and dance and hear the applause!
There’s no denying that acting is a glamorous profession, but I know from the experiences of my relatives and friends how tough it can be: the years of gruelling training in acting, singing and dancing that lie behind a seemingly effortless performance, going to auditions and then waiting anxiously for the call from your agent telling you whether or not you’ve got the role – especially when you’re just out of drama school like Julie Farrell, the heroine of There She Goes, and you have yet to land your first job.
I hope that There She Goes, as well as being a love story, will give readers a glimpse of the hard work it takes to be successful in the dazzling yet demanding world of Theatreland.
There She Goes
When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can’t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who’d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street…
After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship…
Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?
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