Ex-Ridgeway pupil lands star role in West End
9:40am Sunday 10th February 2013 in By Katie Bond, @SwindonAdver007
TALENTED Swindon actress Georgie Ashford has won a prime role in this year’s most anticipated West End musical.
The 22-year-old former Ridgeway School pupil beat off tough competition from more than 2,000 other musical theatre stars to win a coveted place in the award-winning Broadway classic, A Chorus Line.
Georgie, of Wroughton, only left training at The Arts Educational School, in London, a year ago and has already performed in Singing in the Rain, at Chichester Festival Theatre, and as Elle Woods, Carley Stenson’s understudy, in Legally Blonde at the West End’s Savoy Theatre.
Her list of credits also includes performances at the Royal Albert Hall in My Fair Lady at the Proms, the 10th Anniversary Concert of the Madness musical, Our House, plus a workshop for a new Harry Hill musical based on The X Factor.
It was then the call to audition for the show everyone in the West End wanted to be part of. Two months of gruelling auditions followed, before the all-important call confirmed her place in musical theatre history.
But the excitement didn’t end there, as Georgie was then asked to understudy five of the nine lead female roles, an incredible honour in such a technically-demanding show.
She said: “I was shocked when I found out, it was such an amazing feeling.
“The auditions were such a long process and so hard. Everybody in London wanted to be in the show but it was really fun.
“I didn’t really know how it had gone – I put a lot of work into it. I knew from hearing about the show that it was a really hard dance audition, so I put in a lot of work beforehand and I really enjoyed myself, but I don’t think you ever really know how you have done.”
Georgie began her training at Swindon Academy of Dance, under Sarah Watson, and was first taught to sing as part of Sheila Harrod’s Kentwood Choir.
She then won a place at the renowned Arts Educational School, in Tring, before moving on to do a Musical Theatre degree at Arts Ed.
The new West End show explores the world of dancers auditioning for a place on a chorus line and looks at what motivated them to dedicate their lives to dance.
Georgie said: “The role I am playing is for someone called Tricia but I am also an understudy as well, which is a bit scary.
“We started previews on Tuesday and press night is on February 19.
“With the preview shows it has been a lot about tweaking things, and rehearsing every day, but press night will be the finished product.
“I still get nervous before every performance but I think it is more of an excited nervous. It is such a big stage and such a big theatre, with 2,000 people, so it is a little bit daunting.
“My family and some friends have been up to watch but I am sure they will be back again. It does help to have somebody you know in the audience for that little bit of extra support.”