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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Waiting in the wings for West End debut

An actor and singer who has performed with Congleton Youth Theatre is poised and ready to swing into action in the West End.

Former Eaton Bank pupil Ella Beaumont has landed a role as a “swing” (stand-in) for the musical production of Back to the Future, which is currently on stage at the Adelphi Theatre, London.

It means that the 23-year-old could play the role of one of several characters in the big stage version of the 80s time travelling movie classic, which originally starred Michael J Fox and gave the world the phrase 1.21 gigawatts.

Ms Beaumont, who left Congleton five years ago to pursue her passion for acting and singing, explained that as swing she will have to learn six parts as well as being first cover for Marty’s girlfriend, Jennifer. And if a member of the ensemble is absent, she will fill in.

Speaking to the Chronicle about what the job meant for her, she said: “I’m so excited, it’s surreal; it was always a dream but I didn’t know if it would happen.

“I was hoping it would happen eventually but it’s happened sooner than I thought – I joined up with the crew two weeks ago!

“My family and friends are all buzzing for me and they will be coming down for sure – they are over the moon.”

She said she loved the film version of Back to the Future and added: “My family all love it, too so I think it’s more special that it’s something they like – Back to the Future was big when my parents were growing up.

“I just can’t believe I’m a part of it. The show is incredible.”

Ms Beaumont moved to London when she was 18 to study drama for three years, attending Bird College. She then landed a role as Frenchy in Grease the Musical, on a cruise ship – Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.

Having spent 10 months at sea, for “almost the whole of 2022”, she returned to London and auditioned for Back to the Future the Musical.

When asked what was the next step for her career after the show, she replied: “I’m hoping to stay here. The dream is to continue working in the West End.”

The website dramatics.org reports that while an understudy usually plays an ensemble role, a swing is offstage until needed. It explains: “Swinging is one of the most demanding, exciting, and important roles in theatre. Broadway stars including Megan Hilty, Shoshana Bean and Bernadette Peters all got their start as offstage swings or standbys. The right swing gig can help launch a career.

“It is a challenging job that requires a special skill set. The primary challenge of swinging is that you can expect significantly less rehearsal time than the main cast. Being a swing or standby will test your skills and teach you how to be a reliable performer and collaborator, which can help get you hired again and again.”

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