A STAR is born as Crookes actress Lauren Lomas steps out from behind the bar and into the spotlight at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre.
The 20-year-old theatre lover and performer is part of the Sheffield Theatres front of house team and can usually be seen serving interval drinks in the theatre bars.
But this November she leaves all that behind for a while at least as she becomes the star of the show, heading the cast of STOS Theatre Company’s Lyceum revival of Broadway and Hollywood classic Gypsy.
Gypsy is the musical favourite based on the outrageous early life of Gypsy Rose Lee, the celebrated and pioneering First Lady of Burlesque, whose innocent costume malfunction in 1930s Vaudeville introduced a new and very adult form of entertainment to the world.
And that means that as she prepares for her first starring role, Lauren is having to learn the old theatrical trick of putting the tease into strip – without revealing too much!
“Actually, for most of the show I’m dressed as a real Tom Boy and there’s nothing revealing or risqué about it at all,” Lauren admits.
“It’s only when she becomes the unexpected star of the show that I have to reveal a little more – but not too much.”
Lauren has been acting since she was a young member of Doncaster Youth Theatre and has appeared with several South Yorkshire community theatre groups, including an ensemble role in the 2017 STOS Lyceum show, My Fair Lady.
“Gypsy is such a great and iconic role and I really didn’t think I’d get it,” she says.
“In fact, when they did the auditions and they did the recalls for the second round I thought they’d made a mistake or I’d misheard.”
Although she doesn’t come from an immediate acting background, Lauren can claim a bit of a showbiz connection as she is a distant cousin of Oscar-nominated Lancashire star Albert Finney.
And she’s now aiming to follow in his footsteps by applying for a place in drama school.
In the meantime, though, she insists that she is delighted to be working at Sheffield Theatres – when she’s not playing Gypsy.
“It’s a great place to work,” she says. “You get to meet some great actors and make connections – you never know who you’re going to bump into.”
STOS Theatre Company presents Gypsy – the story of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee – at Sheffield’s Lyceum from November 13 to 17. For tickets call 0114 249 6000 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk