Scottish performer Lilly-Jane Young is a star in Europe thanks to her leading role as Wendy in the critically acclaimed production Peter Pan The Never Ending Story. This September Lilly-Jane and the rest of the talented cast will be heading to Scotland for three nights to perform at The Hydro in the stunning show. Glasgow Theatre Blog had a chance to interview Lilly-Jane about her career and her triumphant return to Scotland.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your training.
I was born in Glasgow and grew up in Cumbernauld. I was always a dreamer at school, living in my own little world! When I was fifteen, I was accepted on the Musical Theatre Course at the Dance School of Scotland and that was the beginning of my professional training. We did all our normal school subjects alongside singing, dancing and acting. It was heaven for me. From there I moved to London to further my studies at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. When I graduated in 2011, I signed with my agent and hoped to take my training into the real world.
You are currently playing Wendy Darling in Peter Pan the Never Ending Story, how did you come to be involved in this international production?
I was in exactly the right place at the right time! I was playing Fleur de Lys in the Notre Dame de Paris Asia tour. Whilst we were performing in Seoul, the choreographer of the show came to watch us and audition dancers for his new project; Peter Pan the Never Ending Story. As soon as heard about the ideas for the show I knew that it was going to be something very special and I had to be a part of it. Before I knew it, I was back in Europe for the auditions in Antwerp and the rest all just fell into place. I wasn’t sure if they would even consider me for such a huge role given my lack of experience, but thankfully the creative team believed I could do it.
Tell us all about this new arena production of Peter Pan, What can we expect?
I would say to expect the unexpected. Our show is really exciting and also full of new and innovative technology. It becomes more like a movie on stage. Wind turbines, 3D flying techniques, bungees, digital mapping to name but a few… Also, our music was written and arranged by Matt Dunkley who is a film writer. He has worked on massive blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge, The Black Swan, Love Actually and The Pirates of the Caribbean. The music alone is stunning!
Mix it with the energy from some of the most talented people in the world (we have 20 nationalities in the show) and you are really watching something special.
The tour has travelled to Belgium and The Netherlands and will tour to France, Germany and Switzerland as well as the UK; what has it been like travelling around Europe, how has the show been received so far?
Travelling Europe is great fun. I love turning up in a new city and seeing what it has to offer. And living in hotels is great because you don’t have to cook! The show has been doing extremely well. The audience reception has been overwhelming. With this being a brand new show, of course you are terrified that people just wont think it is good. But up until now I have heard only that people love it.
The show will be one of the first to be performed at Glasgow’s newest mega-venue The Hydro; are you excited about coming to Scotland to play in front of a home audience in this spectacular new arena?
All I can say about coming to the Hydro is that it is truly a dream come true and playing this show for a Scottish audience will definitely be the highlight of my life so far.
What do you miss about Scotland when you’re off touring the world?
Everything. I miss my family, my dog, tattie scones and being able to make a good cup of tea.
Are there any home comforts you take with you on the road?
To be honest, I always try to pack as light as I can because the worst part of my job is dragging a heavy suitcase around. But usually my mum will send me a little gift from home just to keep me smiling if I get home sick.
Finally, tell us why we should all come and see Peter Pan the Never Ending Story?
Everyone should come to see the show because it is just a night of pure magic for children of all ages, and believe me, you have never seen anything like it before!
Follow Lilly-Jane on Twitter @lillyjaneyoung
More information on the show at http://www.peterpan.is/en/index.html
Peter Pan The Never Ending Story is at The Hydro, Glasgow from 27th to 29th September 2013
Tickets available from http://www.ticketsoup.com/thehydro/PeterPan.aspx