A Fylde coast singing star is set to return to Blackpool tomorrow to star in award-winning smash-hit musical Avenue Q.
Lucie-Mae Sumner last took to the boards of The Grand Theatre as a youngster in Thoroughly Modern Millie but has long-held ambitions to return to her roots.
After training with Phil Winston’s Theatreworks she landed a series of scholarships to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, returning to the North West in smash-hit stage adaptation of Sister Act The Musical in 2012.
Now Lucie-Mae is treading the boards of The Grand Theatre in a professional production that has already had critical acclaim and been seen by thousands.
The 25-year-old said: “It’ll be so good to come back to Blackpool.
“I’ve always loved The Grand but never had chance to perform professionally there.
“That was my big reason for auditioning. I saw Avenue Q in the West End years ago too and absolutely loved it.”
Lucie-Mae, who grew up in Lytham and went to Baines High School, Poulton, plays the parts of two characters – Lucy and Kate Monster – in the show, which sees three human actors interact with puppets, animated by unconcealed puppeteers
The coming-of-age satirical musical follows characters coming to terms with the realities of adulthood and the idea that the “you’re special” notion sold to them as children might not be all it seemed.
It has meant Lucie-Mae has had to learn the tricky new skill of puppetry.
“It was terrifying to learn,” she admitted.
“In the final audition they thrust the puppet at us to see who it came naturally to, I must have been OK.”
But the performer is no stranger to adding new strings to her bow, having mastered the arts of trapeze, juggling and fire tricks to perform in circus musical Barnum in Chicester last year.
“I had to learn circus skills for Barnum, I never thought I’d do that kind of thing,” she added.
“But I get excited about learning new things so maybe directors can tell that.”
Lucie-Mae turns her hand to the two parts of Kate, the girl next door, and Lucy, her polar opposite, to help guide protagonist Princeton find his true purpose in life, something she’s clearly found for herself in musical theatre.
Avenue Q plays at The Grand Theatre, on Church Street, from tomorrow until Saturday – nightly at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.
For tickets, call the box office on (01253) 290190 or visit the website www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk