Before Northern Ireland actor Fra Fee bagged a role in the movie adaptation of Les Miserables and appeared on screen alongside film superstar Hugh Jackman he sat just below the celebrity radar here at home.
The actor and singer left home and went straight for the bright lights of the West End where his first paid role was that of Billy Kostecki in Dirty Dancing, followed by appearances in the Irish tour of Fame and back to the West End for Les Miserables.
Having since clocked up an impressive CV along the way Fra’s returning home to the Lyric Theatre next week to star alongside actress Amy Lennox in The Last Five Years.
Running until July 4, the show tells the story of Jamie, a talented and up and coming novelist who falls in love.
And despite already being a fan of the role, Fra has an even bigger reason for his homecoming.
He said: “This has been something of a love-project for quite some time as I’ve always been a fan of the show and working with my sister Claire and Blunt Fringe has been an ambition that we’re both delighted is finally happening.
“The show is a beautifully crafted chamber musical chronicling the five year relationship between Jamie and a struggling musical theatre actress Cathy.
“Set in New York, all of the songs are like miniature plays, fantastic character studies that give the audience such an intimate insight into each of the two characters. The music is extraordinary and a joy to sing.
“It is funny, poignant, theatrical, thought-provoking and ultimately extremely honest and moving.
“I cannot wait for Belfast audiences to see what we’ve been up to in rehearsals.”
Although coming home is up towards the top of his career highlights Fra admits being in the cast of Les Miserables, a box office hit worldwide was something special.
He explained: “I played Courfeyrac who was one of the revolutionary students, right-hand man to leader Enjolras and guardian to young street urchin Gavroche.
“It was a lovely role to play, I was very lucky. Filming Les Mis was an incredibly experience.
“The movie is stunning and I’m very proud to have been part of it.
“It was an obvious highlight, being part of something huge and working with a dream cast with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne and director Tom Hooper was amazing. I learned a lot from them.
“However, artistically I think the highlight of my career was possibly when I played Robbie in A Man Of No Importance at the Salisbury Playhouse. It was a really beautiful show that I loved being a part of.”
The Last Five Years runs from June 24 to July 4 at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.