Over the Rainbow winner returns to Manchester to star in smash hit musical

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Manchester lass Danielle Hope’s life changed completely eight years ago when she took part in the TV talent show Over the Rainbow and won the coveted role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Since then, she has starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Les Miserables.

Fresh from appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, she is about to star in the UK tour of Rock of Ages as Sherrie, a wannabe rock star, which comes to the Opera House in September.

We caught up with her for a chat over a brew and a Hobnob.

What attracted you to Rock of Ages?

I listened to the original recording so much when I was growing up and I love 80’s rock music, so Rock of Ages was always a show I loved and hoped I would get to be a part of someday.

Tell us a bit about your character, Sherrie.

Sherrie is so much fun. She is from a small town in Kansas – a place I am familiar with, hehe! – and hasn’t been out in the big wide world yet, so we get to see this sheltered small town girl experience all the crazy challenges that a place like Los Angeles in the 1980s brings. It is so much fun to take on a role like this. It is so different to anything I have done before. The ruby slippers are very much off.


What’s your favourite song in the show?

It’s so hard to choose. Every hit you know and love is featured in this firecracker of a show. But I love Harden My Heart which I get to sing with all the girls.

Have you got any career highlights?

I have to say The Wizard of Oz as it was the very beginning. And then moving onto something as incredible as Les Miserables was just the best experience. I truly made my lifelong friends on that show. Getting to see the country and the world by touring with huge shows has been so awesome, too. I’ve been so lucky to get to explore so much of the world whilst also getting to perform and sing.

What are your favourite haunts in Manchester?

Ooooh… so much of the Northern Quarter. I used to go to Night & Day and Home Sweet Home all the time. We would do two-for-one cocktails at The Font. And I love The Oast House in Spinningfields.


How do you relax between shows?

Some good warm food and usually some fresh air and sunlight if it’s during the summer. I like to get out of the theatre and refresh so that the second show feels like a whole new day.

What shows have you seen recently that you loved?

I have just been up at the Edinburgh Fringe performing, so I was lucky enough to see so much variety of theatre and circus. I saw the current tour of Fame in Manchester and loved it – so definitely that.


What do you love about Manchester?

I love that this diverse city has everything you need from a major international city but still has that local feel wherever you go. You can’t beat northern warmth. I always love the theatre audiences when we tour at home.

Why should audiences come and see Rock of Ages?

It’s a feel-good firework of energy with some of the best songs ever written. Jam-packed with comedy and killer dance, it really does have everything you want from a trip to the theatre and a night out rolled into one. See you at home, Manchester!

Rock of Ages is at the Opera House from 25 – 29 September.

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