Calderdale’s own ‘Wicked’ star, Sophie Leigh Griffin, took time out from the show’s first UK tour to visit the Halifax school where her love of dance and performing began. Sophie, who is in ‘Wicked’ at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, until Saturday, started her dance training at Whiteley’s Academy of Performing Arts in Halifax at the age of eight, continuing her classes in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, stage, and musical theatre. At the age of 16 she auditioned for several vocational schools, and was offered three-year scholarship places at Northern Ballet in Manchester, SLP in Leeds and Bird College in London. She chose Northern Ballet.
After her first year Sophie decided to make the move into musical theatre. She was offered a place at Bird College and during her time there took part in numerous showcases and exams. In July 2013, before graduating, she auditioned for the first UK tour of ‘Wicked’ and was offered a two year contract to take the role of Swing.
Sophie’s dance and musical theatre training was pushed to the limits in the demanding role as she was also required to cover all parts including dance, singing, and acting parts for other cast members. Having an excellent start at a young age in her training, Sophie was able to shine through her rehearsals and start the tour with confidence.
The tour has taken her all over the country and her next and final stop is Birmingham.
Sophie took time out of her busy schedule to return to Whiteley’s Academy of Performing Arts and attend a rehearsal of the theatre school’s forthcoming show, Starburst Showcase 2014.
She watched more than 150 students go through their paces and gave them words of encouragement. School principal Sandy Whiteley said Sophie always made an effort to visit her old friends and teachers when she returned to Halifax.
Students will be showcasing their singing, dancing and drama skills in the show at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on Saturday, July 5, at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are on sale at the Victoria Theatre box office, Halifax. Call 01422 351158.