Bangor beauty Niamh Perry shot to fame in the TV talent show I’d Do Anything in 2008.
At just 17, she took the West End by storm and although she didn’t win the show – she won the heart of musical mogul Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Reporter Laura McMullan caught up with Niamh ahead of her big home-coming show in Mamma Mia!.
In 2009 after starring on BBC’s I’d Do Anything Niamh was cast as Sophie in the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!.
But for the then 18-year-old it was a baptism of fire into the fast-paced, cut-throat world of theatre.
She explained: “I’ve had a really exciting journey with the Mamma Mia! family. It was actually my first job in the West End and I was thrown into this crazy world and handed a huge amount of responsibility as a very young 18 year old.
“I didn’t go to drama school so I always feel like that six month contract playing Sophie back in 2009 was my crash course into the industry. I learnt so much from the amazing cast and creative team back then and I have always been so grateful for the opportunity that I was given.”
From Mamma Mia! Niamh was cast in Love Never Dies and at that stage believed her Mamma Mia! journey was over.
However, that was to change.
“Last year I was cast mid-contract to jump into the Mamma Mia! International Tour and I jumped at the chance. The deciding factor for me when I was asked to stay for another year and they told me the show was going to Belfast, Dublin and Derry, it was a no-brainer.
“To perform something of this scale at home has always been a goal of mine and I’m really chuffed that I get to spend a month at home doing this amazing job.”
As well as the theatre work Niamh is also an acomplished songwriter. She’s already recorded a number of songs under her alter-ego name Neeve.
She said: “While I’m on touch I try and make a little time to continue my song-writing. I’ve been writing my own material since I moved to London at 17 and it has evolved in lots of ways as I’ve gotten older.”
Tickets for Mamma Mia! running from June 16-20 at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena range from £15-£39.50 and are available from www.odysseyarena.com
The show will also be performing at Derry’s Millennium Forum from July 7-11. Tickets www.millenniumforum.co.