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Former star of Haverhill’s Centre Stage Company lands her first lead in West End show

Lauren Chinery stars in Miss Nightingale
Lauren Chinery stars in Miss Nightingale

An actress who served her apprenticeship in Haverhill’s Centre Stage Company has won her first lead role in a West End musical.

This time last year, Lauren Chinery was playing Myrtle Wilson in Gatsby, at the Leicester Square Theatre - her first role of any kind in the West End.

Lauren has subsequently been working regularly, spending many weeks touring with the Bill Kenwright production, Dreamboats and Petticoats, before then playing Bella in Beauty and the Beast, the panto staged at the Cast Theatre in Doncaster.

The writer and director of the panto, Matthew Bugg, is also the writer and creator of the acclaimed musical Miss Nightingale, which starts a seven-week run at The Hippodrome in Leicester Square on March 21.

Having worked together in Doncaster, Matthew invited Lauren to audition for the lead character Maggie Brown and subsequently offered her the role.

It is a part that 23-year-old Lauren, who grew up in Great Yeldham and went to Sudbury Upper School before graduating in July 2016 from the Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford, feels is ideal for her.

“The part is just right up my street really,” said Lauren. “She’s just got quite a bit about her really. She’s quite gutsy and there are some great songs in the show and it’s funny.

“It’s set in London during World War Two so there’s a big historical and a quite political slant on some parts of it because of everything that was going on at the time.

“It’s really a comedy and we all play instruments in it as well. It’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”

Lauren’s character Maggie is the star of the show in a 1940s London cabaret club.

Her co-star and best friend, George Nowodny gets romantically involved with the club’s owner, Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe but the love affair is one that nobody can know about.

Miss Nightingale is making its West End debut having completed five sold-out UK tours since 2011.

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