Sweet-natured Danielle Hope won over the nation’s hearts (and the part of Dorothy) in the BBC’s Over The Rainbow, the TV show to cast for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz in London’s West End. Two years later, she now has another prolific impresario in her midst. She was chosen by Cameron Mackintosh to play Eponine in another one of the classic shows in London, Les Miserables.
Danielle was flung into the literal spotlight in 2010 as the young, fresh-faced winner of Over The Rainbow. She entered the competition while still at school, beating 9,000 other hopefuls to make it onto the live TV shows as one of the “final 10”. However, this wasn’t her first foray into the world of theatre shows – her High School in Cheshire focused on dance and drama, and Hope was heavily involved in the school’s musical theatre productions, even taking the lead female role of Maria in West Side Story. And so it wasn’t a huge leap to see her ambitions to see her career following a path to shows on in London’s glittering West End.
Danielle has earned some impressive reviews for her debut into a show in London, The Wizard of Oz. “She sings Over the Rainbow with feeling, and finds a real spirit of camaraderie with her improbable travelling companions” praises the Telegraph, while the Times wrote that “Hope is charming: sweetly naive and sincere. When she first soars into ‘Over the Rainbow’ without a tremor, applause stops the action”.
The West End theatratti are now poised as she takes her next step – performing as Eponine in Les Miserables currently showing at the Queen’s Theatre in London. Taking on a role in the titan of musical theatre, which has been running for longer than Hope has been alive, is certainly a huge test.
Les Miserables opened in 1985 at the Barbican Centre in London. At 27 years, it is the longest-running musical show in London, and the second longest-running musical show in the world, after The Fantasticks. It is also the second longest-running overall show in London after the Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap. However, despite the daunting accolades, Danielle Hope does appreciate her position. In a recent interview, she explained “There’s so many things every day that puts it into perspective. I’m 20 years old and I get to go and sing and play characters for a job.”
However, Les Miserables’ gritty storyline has raised stars that have done so much more than singing and playing “characters”. Set just after the Napoleonic Wars in France, the show tells the tale of Jean Valjean amongst other characters such as prostitutes, student revolutionaries and industrial workers in a story of their struggle for redemption during the French Revolution.
Truly an epic, Les Miserables remains one of the great classic shows on in London today.
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