Thursday, 5 June 2008
Rachel -- The Early Years
Some Interesting Facts about Rachel.
Everybody who watched I’d Do Anything is now aware that Rachel Tucker is destined to be a superstar. Her performances on the show were world class and productions all over the West End will be desperate to secure her services. However here I would like to talk about her early career, prior to appearing on the show and what she likes to do in her spare time.
Rachel Tucker was born 29th May 1981.
The youngest of four children, she grew up in North Belfast.
Her father Tommy 'Tucker' Kelly was a successful singer, performing with such artists as Frankie Vaughan, Des O'Connor and Vera Lynn. He appeared at the London Palladium and was a regular on the Irish Showband circuit.
One of Rachel's first public performances was an accidental one when she was called on stage at Belfast's Grand Opera House by local panto 'Dame' May McFetteridge.
She was only nine and asked to sing 'You Are My Sunshine' she informed the band... "its in the key of G!"
She began singing on the Irish club circuit from the age of 10 with her father and sister Margaret. The name of their group was Tucker Kelly and the Kelstars and they are still going strong today with a new member of the group and keeping it in the family by introducing teenage cousin, Patrice. A duet with Irish pop singer and 3 time Eurovision winner, Johnny Logan on BBC Children In Need followed and while still at school, Rachel won the 1993 Pepsi Junior Talent Award.
She was a member of the Arts Youth Theatre during the late 1990's featuring in shows such as ‘Our Day out’ and ‘Ecstasy’ and further secured a number of impressive theatre credits for one so young; Liesel in 'The Sound of Music' -The Lyric Theatre; Perdita in 'The Winters Tale' -The Arts Theatre.
Back in 1999 Rachel had a small part as a nurse in the film 'Accelerator'. The film is about a man who steals a car for a living; dreams of retiring to Barcelona but finds himself in conflict with a crazed gangster, who desires the first man's girlfriend. The two decide to settle the situation with a race with 12 friends. The trick is they have to steal the cars for the race.
The same year she went on to feature in Michael Poynors award nominated version of the Rockin Mikado playing Katisha and Anita in Westside Story touring UK, alongside Gerard Mc Carthy from Hollyoaks. Gerard has been been a friend of Rachels since performing in an amateur production of Grease in 1993 (Karen talks about this production - see post - (I've got a friend -- Rachel)
Rachel featured as a contestant with Sister Margaret on Michael Barrymore’s ‘My Kind of Music’ singing "Man I feel Like a Woman"; which of course she performed as part of a group song with Ashley and Jodie on I’d Do Anything. She also competed in the talent show ‘Star for a Night’ making the final with her performance of "Kids" and as a response; in 2001 was asked back to perform at N.I Children In Need. We now know however that Rachel is far more than a ‘Star for a Night’. Rachel went on to star as Maureen in Rent at The Olympia, Dublin and in 2001 friends Karen and Rachel worked together in Cinderella, Millenium Forum, Derry.
Although Rachel had already proven to have a strong career ahead of her she decided to get some further training at The Royal Academy of Music and her theatre roles that followed include: Estelle in The Full Monty - UK Tour 2004, Sally in Tommy - UK tour 2005 (alongside Lee Mead) and where Rachel met fiance Guy. Kelly in Merry Christmas Betty Ford - Lyric Theatre Belfast 2005 in which she was nominated for an award. Mary in Tonight's the Night - UK Tour 2006 (alongside Francesca) and Grace Power in To Be Sure - Lyric Theatre 2007.
As you already know Rachel’s latest role was as Dorothy in the Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of The Wizard of Oz at Lyric Theatre in Belfast. ‘The Stage’ described her performance as "looking and sounding uncannily like the legendary Garland" and led to the inspiration behind her audition peice for 'I'd Do Anything'.
Rachel is a keen painter and decorator, loves to eat out and go shopping, enjoys sport and clears her mind by getting on her running machine or going for a brisk jog when she can. She once worked part time for her brother as a fish fryer but ended up smelling of fish for days after!
Thanks to Andy and Karen for the additional research.
I'd also like to add that we're always happy to receive any new Rachel information -- past, present or future.
Please feel free to email any information, thoughts or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org