Thursday, 26 February 2009
IDA a Year On
Almost a year after IDA initially hit our TV screens and transformed our weekend viewing habits, I thought it might be a good time to catch up on how the original 12 finalists are doing.
1. Jodie -- After a few hiccups (well cancellations actually) with the opening performances, 'Oliver' has proved to be a phemonenal box-office success. Reviews may have been mixed, but Jodie has emerged largely unscatched and has attracted praise from theatre goers and critics alike. Other appearances include a short stint in 'Les Miserables', a solo at Hyde Park and a TV appearance for the BBC's 'Children in Need.' Her autobiography hit the shops last week, and although it sheds little new light on IDA, it is a heart-warming read and will delight her fans.
2. Jessie -- As mentioned in the post below, Jessie is set for her West End debut next month and has attracted much praise for her role as Anne Egerman in 'A Little Night Music.' She previously took part in the 'Phantom 2' workshops at Sydmonton and performed a solo at ALW's Birthday Concert at Hyde Park. Other appearances included a concert at Tipperary, The Rose of Tralee Festival and another ALW-related concert in Dublin.
3. Samantha -- Continuing to tour as Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret', Samantha is particularly excited that I've booked tickets to the show in Belfast's Grand Opera House this May. Other appearances have included a marathon concert in her native Isle of Man last January and a performance at the 'Whats on Stage' awards several weeks ago.
4. Rachel -- Rachel landed the role of Meat and first cover Scaramouche in WWRY within two months of IDA ending. She has also taken part in workshops for 'Phantom 2', in the role of Meg Giry, performed at the Belfast Proms, Gay Pride, Hyde Park and is set to perform in a Belfast charity cabaret night next month (see post below). Media-wise she has appeared on the Weakest Link, been on the judging panel for 'Search For A Star' and co-presented an hour-long Musicals show on BBC Radio Ulster. If you look carefully you might find her mentioned on this very blog.
5. Niamh -- Niamh appeared alongside Keith Jacks in the acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe production 'Only The Brave' last summer and played Snow White in Eastbourne Theatre over Christmas. She has also performed with Rachel at the Proms, Hyde Park and the Phantom 2 workshops. She is rumoured to be recording an album. Niamh and Rachel are familiar faces in the NI papers and at local charity events.
6. Ashley -- Ashley kept a low profile for some time after IDA. She attended Rachel's opening night in WWRY with Jodie and was spotted at several subsequent performances. All became clear recently when she landed the role of the teacher and cover for Killer Queen in the touring production of WWRY.
7. Sarah -- Sarah appeared in several small productions including Mathilde and 'Songs From the Musicals' before landing the West End role of flower seller and cover for Nancy in 'Oliver.' On Feb 19th she played Nancy for the first time (see post below).
8. Francesca -- Fran landed a starring role in Bill Kenwright's 'Can't Smile Without You' alongside Maria finalist Siobhan Dillon and 90s pop star Chesney Hawkes. The show toured the country last year.
Of the remaining contestants -- Keisha performed at Hyde Park alongside Rachel, Jessie & Niamh, Tara became the narrator in 'Joseph' and Amy starred in the ill-fated 'All Bob's Women' last summer, which at least had the distinction of getting all the girls back together for press night. And thanks Sophie for letting me know that Cleo is in 'Dirty Dancing.'
If anyone has any further details or corrections, please feel free to email or leave a comment.