Audiences can’t take their eyes off Barnburgh-born actress Rachael Wooding, who is starring in a hit West End musical- hot on the heels of an appearance on Coronation Street.
Rachael is currently starring as Mary Delgado, in Jersey Boys, the story of the rise to Fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - and she is enjoying every minute of it.
The 33-year-old former Barnburgh School and Ridgewood pupil, said:
“It’s a really slick production and I am having a great time. I never realised just how many Frankie Valli hits there are that I had known all my life. songs like Can’t Take my eyes off you, Oh what a night, Stay.....
“The show has every hit they ever had”.
“I am playing Mary Delgado, who was Frankie’s first wife. Jersey boys is quite a male dominated production, there are only three girls in the whole show and each of us play lots of different parts, telling the story of the four guys in the group”.
Jersey Boys is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks. The four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sold 100 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30.
The musical has now been seen by over 1.5 million people and is firmly established as one of the West End’s long running and popular shows.
“Frankie is played by Ryan Mulloy and he has made the role his own from when the show started in the West End four years ago. To see him play his part is an incredible experience”.
Rachel’s West End credits include the title role in Evita Amber in Hairspray and Meatloaf in We Will Rock You.
She recently appeared in two episodes of Coronation Street, as Mandy who met up with Kirk Sutherland for a one-night stand after a hen party in the Rovers Return. A role she hopes could be reprised in the near future.
“It was nice to do some TV - I have every hope Mandy will be back.”
What advice could she offer to budding actors from the Dearne?
“I know it sounds a cliche, but if you really absolutely want to do it and want it enough you have to do everything you can to make it happen. It is more competitive now than ever”.
“I always wanted to be an actress. It’s all I ever wanted to do from the age of about three. I was always involved in local amateur dramatics, then as I got older I performed at Sheffield Crucible Theatre. She moved to London when she was 16 to study performing arts.
“With the rise of reality TV it seems they want people who have been on TV already because it makes money. But I still think if you were born to be on stage you will find a way to do it. Go to college or find a theatre course. It is possible to rise up by performing in provincial places, but it makes it easier if you move to london or Manchester where you are in the centre of things and can get more information.
“I don’t ever want to stop - but I think at some point soon I’m hoping to get married and have a baby. “You can easily put the blinkers on in this job and you have to remember you have to live the other bit of your life!”