Belfast’s West End star Rachel Tucker has been nominated for an Olivier Award
We spoke to Rachel about her acting career
I’m originally from North Belfast, I grew up just off the Antrim Road. I went to St Terese of Lisieux School and Little Flower School. I loved school, Little Flower was very supportive of Music and Drama. It was always my ambition to get into drama at the weekends I was never out with my mates I was always out singing and acting with my sister.
Moving to London
I always wanted to go to drama school, it was always my dream to be on stage in the West End.
I got my first professional job in Dublin starring in Rent that helped fund me to attend the Royal Academy of Music. I went there when I was 21 my family couldn’t have been more supportive, all they wanted was to help me accomplish my dreams and ambitions. Mum took out a loan from the credit union to help support me through the year she did everything she could get me there.
The move to London was difficult I missed home, I had decided not to come home from September to Christmas, those first couple of months were tough but I knew it was where I wanted to be.
The Big Break – “I’d Do Anything”
I was touring the UK with productions and even met my husband doing a show called Tommy. I kept getting pipped at the post at auditions by women who had been on TV and had more of a profile.
I decided take part in the BBC’s talent show “I’d Do Anything” hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was the opportunity to get seen by West End producers and directors, it made people sit up and notice me. The support from home was unbelievable, I still see some Vote for Rachel on the walls around North Belfast when I go home today.
Starring in Come from Away
I am currently starring in the West End in “Come from Away” a musical which shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.
The Olivier Award Nomination
I’ve been nominated for an Oliver Award for my role as Beverley in “Come from Away”. I am over the moon to be nominated it’s great to get some recognition for everything I have done. The show is such an ensemble piece, I am not the lead role so it’s just so great to be noticed.
The awards take place on the 7th April at the Royal Albert Hall and will be televised on ITV.
Advice for aspiring Actor's
I would advise others to just do it if you’ve got it in your heart and your soul, you really have to go for it with everything you have.
Plans for the future
I want to enjoy this run at the West End but eventually I would like to go back to New York to Broadway.
I come home as often as I can, I was in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin at Christmas, so I was able to come up and spend Christmas with my family it was lovely.
When I am away I miss my brothers fry ups in his Bistro, I miss the craic and I miss my family, and you’re always in good company in Northern Ireland.