18-year-old Lara to follow in the footsteps of Diana Vickers

PUBLISHED: 11:56 18 April 2011 | UPDATED: 12:23 18 April 2011

Lara Anstead being coached by Bob Broad

Lara Anstead being coached by Bob Broad


WEST END musical director Bob Broad has been drafted in to help a village drama group really hit the high notes as they impersonate a series of glittering stars.

The Clavering Players are putting on The Rise and Fall of Little Voice which involves female lead Lara Anstead styling her vocal chords to mimic some of the musical greats.

Group director Melissa Jones said: “Lara has an amazing voice but for this show she has to sing exactly like some of the most famous singers and divas of all time – such as Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey.

“It is vital for the show that her voice has the same sound and vocal quality as the people she will be impersonating – it is a great challenge for her.”

To help 18-year-old Lara, who lives in Saffron Walden, the group has enlisted the help of director Broad who is currently working on Cameron Mackintosh’s new musical Betty Blue Eyes which opens at the Novello Theatre in London this month.

“I think audiences are in for a treat with this production,” he said. “From what I have seen the cast are aiming for a top performance.

“I have been focusing on Lara, because she plays Little Voice, and I think she’ll give a cracking performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time I end up meeting her on stage in the West End.”

Broad’s involvement marks the first time in its 50-year history that the amateur group have secured the services of such a well-regarded professional and they are setting the bar high for their May production.

Lara will be following in the footsteps of Jane Horrocks, who starred in the film version, and Diana Vickers, who recently played the part on stage.

She and the rest of the cast will be performing the popular play in Clavering Village Hall from Friday May 13 to Sunday May 15.

Tickets are available from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre and the Clavering Post Office.

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