Following her starring role as the youngest ever Dorothy in Leeds Playhouse’s The Wizard of Oz, 14 year-old local actress Lucy Sherman discusses her whirlwind career.
Leeds lass Lucy Sherman is a triple threat: she can sing, dance and act – she’s starred in productions from Cadbury’s adverts to Shakespearean plays at the tender age of seven. A year-long tour of 18 cities across the UK and Ireland playing Jemima Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, earned her the Young Achiever’s Foundation Youngster of the Year. At 10 years-old, staying in hotel rooms by herself was no mean feat.
Now 14, the young star has just finished a run playing Dorothy in a stage adaption of The Wizard of Oz at Leeds Playhouse. Her brother, 10 year-old Brodetsky Primary School pupil Rafi has also caught the acting bug, playing a munchkin alongside his big sister.
“The director, James Brining was quite brave casting Dorothy as a child,” says Lucy. “I don’t think it’s been done before in a professional production. Because we’re children, we have a different kind of relationship with the characters.”
Her 41 shows have been met with five-star reviews: “I’m having the best time and I don’t want it to end. People come up to me afterwards to take pictures and ask me to sign autographs. On the day the reviews were out, my mum sent one in, and my teacher read it out to the class!”
Lucy’s acting career began when she was gifted singing lessons for her seventh birthday: “My singing teacher said I should audition for a fairy in Midsummer Night’s Dream – I thought I’d give it a go just for the experience, but I got the part and it just went from there. I’m very lucky as a child actress to still be working at this age! I don’t think of it like a job, it’s just something I love to do.”
When asked where she gets her performing talents, she replies: “My dad Ilan sings at Jewish weddings as a side job, and my mum Angela is a teacher, but used to act in school plays. Both are both amazingly supportive and very proud!”
Having grown up in Alwoodley, Lucy admits there’s no place quite like it: “I love Leeds, there are wonderful theatres like the Grand Theatre and the Playhouse. I go to London a lot for auditions, but I really do like Leeds, it’s home!”
With rehearsals and performances by day, schoolwork by night, the Year 9 Gateways School pupil spends her one day off a week catching up: “I’ve missed about half of this term because of the play, but I kept in touch with my teachers and relied on myself to get things done, but everyone has been incredibly supportive.”
Asked where she hopes this yellow brick road is taking her, Lucy replies: “The Wizard of Oz has made me think I want to do this as a career. So far, I’ve got nothing lined up, and I’ll have to focus on my GSCEs, but my agent might send through an audition, so you never know!”