Hartlepool actor who grew up with Sunderland Empire shows heads home to star in The Osmonds: A New Musical

An actor whose love of performing arts was sparked as a child watching Sunderland Empire shows is now stepping into the spotlight in a major touring production.

Georgia Lennon would regularly make the trip from her home in Hartlepool with her parents to see shows at the Empire, the region’s biggest theatre.

Now, she’s the one taking centre stage.

In one of her biggest roles since graduating from Surrey’s prestigious Laine Theatre Arts college, Georgia, 23, is playing Marie Osmond in The Osmonds: A New Musical, which is playing all this week at the Empire.

Georgia Lennon of Hartlepool, who is appearing in the show Osmonds the Musical at the Empire Theatre

Plenty of Georgia’s friends, family and former teachers are heading to the theatre this week to see Georgia in the musical, which charts the highs and lows of the famous popstar family.

"Appearing on the Empire stage instead of in the audience is such a pinch-me moment,” she explained. “I was lucky in that my mum and dad would take me to shows in the West End when I was younger, but we’d also come to the Empire for big touring shows. It really sparked my love of theatre.

"It’s amazing to have all these people in the audience this week as they nurtured and really fuelled my ambition. This theatre is as close as I’ll get to home on tour and it feels really special to be here, like a thank you to all the people who’ve helped me along the way.”

A former Holy Trinity Primary and English Martyrs pupil, Georgia also grew up attending local stage schools at the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts in Hartlepool and Elwick, before moving to Surrey when she was 18 to pursue her dreams.

LtoR Georgia Lennon, Alex Lodge, Joseph Peacock, Ryan Anderson, Danny Nattrass, Jamie Chatterton in The Osmonds A New Musical, credit Pamela Raith

After graduating, she went on to appear as Lady Chatterley in the world premiere of Lady Chatterley’s Lover at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End, but The Osmonds is her first major touring production.

Speaking about what people can expect from the new musical, she said: "It’s a wonderful night out and gets everyone up on their feet. It really charts the highs and lows of The Osmonds, which people don’t expect. They see this perfect image of them, but there’s a really interesting story to the family and the musical takes you on such an emotional rollercoaster.

"We don’t just give you song after song for three hours, there’s a real narrative.”

She added: “What’s also beautiful about the show is that there’s a real family vibe backstage too, which you don’t always get.”

Georgia Lennon of Hartlepool, who is appearing in the show Osmonds the Musical at the Empire Theatre

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The musical features a list of 1970s anthems, including One Bad Apple, Down by the Lazy River, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Love Me for a Reason, (We’re) Having a Party, Puppy Love, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, Paper Roses, and many more.

Georgia, who will be on tour with the show for the rest of the year, said: “I’ve gone from being an only child, to being one of seven siblings. It’s such a supportive cast for my first big show.”

:: The Osmonds: A New Musical is at Sunderland Empire until Saturday, September 17. Tickets priced from £13 are available from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/sunderland

Georgia Lennon in The Osmonds A New Musical, credit Pamela Raith
Georgia Lennon of Hartlepool, who is appearing in the show Osmonds the Musical at the Empire Theatre
Georgia Lennon (centre) in The Osmonds A New Musical, credit Pamela Raith