I Should Be So Lucky’s Jess Daley talks Evita dash and Over The Rainbow as show comes to Sunderland

Fourteen years have now passed since millions of viewers saw a young North East performer fly off onto the distance on a moon in BBC’s Over The Rainbow and now she’s back on home turf in a musical that’s causing quite a stir on Wearside this week.

That actress was Jessica Daley but, having handed back her ruby slippers to Andrew Lloyd Webber she didn’t let not landing the role of Dorothy stand in her way and, over the last decade or so has carved out a very successful career of her own, starring in the likes of Les Miserables, Grease, White Christmas and Evita (more on that later!) And now she’s in the cast of the theatrical guilty pleasure to end all theatrical guilty pleasures – Stock, Aitken & Waterman musical I Should Be So Lucky.

Taking its title from the Kylie Minogue smash of the same name, the show is an all singing, all dancing 80s riot, with Jessica one of its main protagonists as Britney, the bold and brash sister of jilted bride Ella, who decides to go on her honeymoon, after being left standing at the altar by her groom. What ensues is two hours of camp, cheese and chart classics and, speaking to ChronicleLive, as the UK tour nears it end, Jessica said she’s had a ball.

READ MORE: I Should Be So Lucky is an unashamedly cheesy slice of pop perfection at Sunderland Empire

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“It’s been great. I mean, the show is absolutely bonkers, it’s so much fun to be part of. Every single night I come off the stage absolutely buzzing, because we look out into the audience and see everyone dancing and going a bit wild.

“Being back home is amazing, as Sunderland Empire is actually where I made my professional debut, so it’s a bit of a full circle moment. And I just know the North East crowds are going to be well up for it!”

Jessica made headlines this year when she was called up to play the lead in a new production of Evita, with just a few hours until curtain up and years on from her role in the hit musical; after the show’s leading lady and understudy were both unable to perform.

The consummate professional, after a mad dash from the North East to Leicester, Jessica slipped back into the role of Eva Peron in style, earning rave reviews and the tremendous respect of her peers.

Reliving just what happened on the day, she explained: “It came out of nowhere! I had middle of two weeks off, which is hard for someone like me as I don’t really know how to rest! So I’m having a relaxing day, I’d just got out of the bath, I’m standing there with a towel on my head and then next thing you know I’m packing my case and heading down the road.

“It was like an out of body experience! It’s weird how your muscle memory kicks in for that kind of situation. It took me a while to get over the fact I was capable of doing something like that!”

BBC's Over The Rainbow
BBC’s Over The Rainbow

Jessica’s arrival back in the North East for I Should Be So Lucky comes 14 years after she first pulled on the Dorothy costume and hoped for stardom in Over The Rainbow, a BBC show that, very much like I’d Do Anything and Any Dream Will Do, earned a cult fandom and, like its predecessors spawned some fantastic talent.

Jessica and her fellow Dortothys delighted fans when they reunited for an online performance during lockdown in 2020 and, thanks to TikTok, Jess is served Over The Rainbow clips on a near regular basis, with no complaints from the lady herself, who is more than happy to relive her time on the show. “Those girls were like a sisterhood,” Jess reminisced.

“We still have that bond and Over The Rainbow was one of those shows that was a huge deal for a lot of millennials, which is why I think there’s this real nostalgia for it now.”

*I Should Be So Lucky is at Sunderland Empire until April 27. Head to ATG Tickets for availability and to book.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/jessica-daley-i-should-lucky-29052694

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