Derbyshire's Best Singer gears up for dream role
Chesterfield Operatic Society's forthcoming production of Hairspray will see the fulfilment of the long-held ambition of Georgii Bailey to play the lead role of Tracy Turnblad.
Set in Baltimore in 1962, Tracy, the lovable plus-size teen, has only one desire, to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show, transforming her from social outcast to sudden star.
“I can really relate to Tracy Turnblad, who has been my hero since I was 15,” said Georgii. “She taught me that being big doesn’t mean that you can’t dance.”
Georgii was crowned Derbyshire’s Best Singer in September following her performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been”, from Hairspray.
New to the society are Janine Dyer as Motormouth Maybelle and Shorelle Hepkin in the role of Little Inez.
Janine Dyer is noted as one of the UK’s finest gospel vocalists and has sung on major platforms around the World. She is known for her strong, soulful, vocal abilities. Singing since the age of five, Janine comes from a talented musical family. She has worked as a backing vocalist for over ten years, sharing the stage with artists such as Chaka Khan, Boyzone, Gladys Knight, Shola Ama, Andrew Lloyd Webber and P.Diddy.
Janine joined the multi-award-winning UK Gospel Group Raymond & Co, winning MOBO and two Urban Music Awards.
Janine is the founder of Sheffield Community Choir under the name “Singspirations”, providing vocal training and gospel style singing for weddings and functions. She holds community workshop sessions, providing professional advice for singers, song writers and for vocal arrangement for recording artists and backing vocalists.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Shorelle Hepkin is no stranger to the world of entertainment, having performed both on stage and extensively on TV after studying dance, singing and acting, including a three-year musical theatre course.
She first appeared for CBBC in an internet safety programme called “Take Care” and major TV contracts followed.
Other credits include three series of CBBC’s hit drama “Wolfblood,” where she plays Kay. The programme won the 2012 RTS award for best children’s drama and is now shown in over 70 countries worldwide on the Disney International Channel. “Wolfblood” is now a BAFTA nominee. Shorelle also appeared in a series of webisodes for “The Dumping Ground” in which she played the leading character Poppy. Shorelle recently filmed the groundbreaking E4 TV Drama “Banana”, written and produced by Russell T Davies.
In theatre, Shorelle has appeared in numerous productions including Sleeping Beauty (pantomime), Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (pantomime), Little Shop Of Horrors, Grease, Godspell, High School Musical, Sweet Charity and The Wedding Singer.
Making his directorial debut with the society is Sebastian Shaw, who has many TV acting credits to his name and extensive experience as a theatre director.
Of his directing debut for Chesterfield Operatic Society Sebastian says: “It’s been a great experience working with the cast of Hairspray. I have enjoyed passing on skills I have learned to the cast and watching them grow throughout the rehearsal process.
“I have also brought in working professionals from both stage and screen to star alongside a whole host of local talent. The culmination of these talented people coming together has resulted in a show of West End standard.
“The Chesterfield audiences are in for a real treat as this show is guaranteed to have you dancing in the aisles and singing all the way home”.
Sebastian, who has carved out a successful TV career, was last seen in ITV’s Emmerdale playing the mysterious village bad boy Bobby. Other TV credits include BBC1 dramas Ordinary Lies, A Passionate Woman, Last Tango In Halifax and Sugartown. Sebastian has performed on stage worldwide, including stints in LA, Germany and Poland.
Hairspray’s musical director Is Jonathan Davies and choreographer is Alison Doram.
Tickets ( £12.50 to £16.50) are selling fast but are still available from the Pomegranate box office (01246 345222). The show runs from April 26-29, with a Saturday matinee.
CAST LIST Tracy Turnblad, Georgii Bailey; Corny Collins, Connor Macnamara; Edna Turnblad, Karl Brennan; Penny Pingleton, Jodie James; Velma Von Tussle,Tanya Tuby; Amber Von Tussle, Natalie Sharratt; Link Larkin, Rich Hancock; Seaweed J. Stubbs, Benjamin Loy; Little Inez, Shorelle Hepkin; Motormouth Maybelle, Janine Dyer; Wilbur Turnblad, Simon Lewington; Prudy Pingleton, Sarah Morrell; Mr Pinky, David Thorpe; Mr Pinky’s Helpers: Charlotte Gratton, Chloe Fray and Emily Swallow; Gym Teacher, Danielle Kennedy; Harriman F. Spritzer, Danny Winson; Prison Matron, Pauline Hindle; Motormouth Kids: Katie Mann, Victoria Ruck, Georgie Mills and Jada Freeman; Dynamites: Kelly Wallhead, Nazhrah Simpson and Abbie Dyke; Council Members: Gemma Nolan, Mhairi Herring, Annabelle Brooks, Caitlin Hames, Abbie Harrison, Matthew Day, Sophie Johnson and Alison Doram; Ladies: Sarah Bates, Kirsty Rogers, Georgia Ewington, Darcy Thorpe, Bethany Smith, Jade Goodwin, Jacqui Day, Judith Doram, Becky Peebles, Diane Povall, Liz Burley, Sue Basson and Helen Welch; Men: Bob Newton and Alan Blair.