42nd Street Cast

Ben Walton 42nd St

Ben Walton from Alwoodley, Leeds plays the part of Billy Lawlor

Ben first joined LAOS in 2006 for West Side Story, followed by Ragtime (2007), and The Producers (2009). He then went on to play two of his favourite roles, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast (2010) and most recently Walter De Courcey in Chess (2012). Ben has been performing on the stage since the age of nine, when he appeared in Carousel at the Nottingham Playhouse. He performed in over thirty shows in that area before coming to study at Leeds University in 1995. His involvement in theatre continued throughout his student years and beyond.
Since leaving university, other favourite roles have included Curly in Oklahoma! (Ilkley Kings Hall), Benny in Guys and Dolls (Bradford Alhambra), Billy in Anything Goes and Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose (both Harrogate Theatre), Jerry in The Full Monty (Wakefield Theatre Royal) and Daddy Brubeck in Sweet Charity (Leeds City Varieties).

Lydia Bradd
Lydia Bradd from Knaresborough plays the part of Peggy Sawyer

Lydia has been performing on stage since she was five years old.  She currently trains at the Knaresborough School of Speech and Drama and dances at ElliTe Studios in Wakefield.  Still only seventeen, Lydia has played numerous principal roles, including Jasmine in Aladdin, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Chava in Fiddler On The Roof (Yeadon Town Hall), Tina in She Loves You Yeah! and the title role in Annie, (both at Harrogate Theatre), Jemima in the professional tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Bradford Alhambra), both Blousey and Fizzy in Bugsy Malone, The Artful Dodger in Oliver!, The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Belle and the Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol.

Lydia has achieved her ISTD Advanced 1 Tap and Modern grades and is currently working on her DipALCM in Musical Theatre.  This will be her first show with LAOS.

John Hall
John Hall from York plays the part of Julian Marsh

2013 was a busy year for John, playing three roles -  Mr Bumble in Oliver! at York Theatre Royal, Boone in Whistle Down The Wind at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York,  and Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (his first show with LAOS)

John has recently been appointed Director of the newly formed York Light Youth, (a satellite of the York Light Opera Company), and his first show with them was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in October 2013.  He is currently working on their forthcoming shows for this year, High School Musical and Les Misérables.

John's other recent directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors and Company (both with York Light Opera Company), The Producers (York Grand Opera House) in 2011, and the UK amateur premiere of Bad Girls (with York Stage Musicals at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre) in 2010.

Laura Judge

Laura Judge from Keighley plays the part of Dorothy Brock

Laura trained at Rotherham College of Arts (Performing Arts), the Rose Bruford Academy (Musical Theatre), and at the Thompson School of Dance.  This is Laura’s first appearance with LAOS, but elsewhere she has played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (Wolverhampton Grand), Charity in Sweet Charity (Birmingham Hippodrome), Lady Olivia in Twelfth Night (Bingley Little Theatre with Brian Baines), Golde in Fiddler On The Roof (BrassNeck Theatre), Chris in Calendar Girls (BrassNeck Theatre), Shelley and Linda in Ladies Day/Ladies Down Under (Keighley Playhouse/Yeadon AOS), plus many Rodgers and Hammerstein roles, various pantomimes and cabaret.

TV credits include The Royal Today (Sherry Gillham), The Chase, Strictly Confidential, Spooks Code 9, Mobile, Blue Murder, Diamond Geezer, and Emmerdale.  Laura has also appeared in several films, such as Wild Child, This Way Up, Words To Music, Blind and Upstairs.

Laura runs her own Theatre in Education company Double Take, teaches drama for Scala in Horsforth, and performs regularly in Murder Mystery events for Dial M for Murder.

Sam Griffiths
Samantha Griffiths from Denby Dale plays the part of Maggie Jones

This is Sam's first appearance with LAOS, but she is no stranger to 42nd Street as she played Peggy Sawyer in the North West Amateur premiere at the Tameside Hippodrome in 1994.  Sam has a string of leading principal roles to her name - some of her favourite parts include Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Charity in Sweet Charity, Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Nancy in Oliver!, Anita in West Side Story, Carrie in Carousel, Mrs O in Acorn Antiques and Mabel in Mack and Mabel.  Originally from Oldham, most of Sam's experience has been with Ashton Operatic Society, Dukinfield AODS, Mossley AODS and the Congress Players.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Trevor McDonald Tonight, Police Bravery Awards and an HSBC advert.  Sam also currently enjoys work involving corporate role play and training.


Katie Melia

Katie Melia from York plays the part of Phyllis Dale

This is Katie's first appearance with LAOS, she has had a fantastic time with the group so far and is looking forward to working with them again in the future.

Katie has played a number of principal roles with groups from York including – Charlotte in Oliver!, Liesel in Sound of Music, Patsy in Crazy for You. Her favorite part to date would have to be taking the leading role in Stepping Out, which was directed by John Hall (Playing Julian Marsh in 42nd Street).

She has studied her art both locally (York St John University and Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre) and abroad where she trained with the world famous visual theatre company ‘Dog Troep’. Katie has also had the privilege of working with Howard Barker in 'The Fence' at York Theatre Royal. Her passion for the theatre started at a young age and she soon found herself performing in ‘The Demon Head Master’and ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat’ as well as performing as a dancer in the annual pantomime at York Grand Opera House

Tanya Willis
Tanya Willis from York plays the part of Lorraine Fleming

Tanya trained at S.L.P College in Leeds and was also a junior Associate at the Royal Ballet School.

Tanya is one of the original members of Damuus Dance Co for Louise Denison and was also Tap Champion of England in 2000.

Professional Credits include National UK Tour of "Singing in the Rain" and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Tanya now runs Willis Academy of Dance in Clifford /Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, Melody Bear Pre School Ballet in Harrogate and guest teaches at Scala Performing Arts Stage School in Leeds.

Tanya is also the Assistant Chorographer for York Stage Experience at York Grand Opera House, shows include "Guys and Dolls", "West Side Story", Fiddler on the Roof", "Footloose" and in August 2014 "Our House". 
Fiona Lane
Fiona Lane from Headingley plays the part of Anytime Annie

Fiona joined LAOS in 2012 when she was a member of the Hot Box Girls in Guys and Dolls, and more recently played Wendy Jo in last year’s production of Footloose at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Other roles in Yorkshire include Derma in La Cage Aux Folles for Yeadon Amateurs in their March 2013 show. Fiona has performed numerous shows within junior operatic societies on The Wirral including; Katy O'Flaherty in Around The World In 80 Days, Nettie Fowler in Carousel, and dancer roles in Crazy For You, Les Misérables and The Slipper And The Rose.

Fiona has been a dancer from an early age and attended The Hylton Bromley School of Dance in Wallasey, where she won the IDTA Cheshire and Merseyside Senior Tap Championship (2004) and was a finalist in the Merseyside Young Singer of the Year competition (2006).

Jonty Wilson
Jonty Wilson from Whitkirk, Leeds plays the part of Bert Barry

Jonty has been performing with LAOS since 1998 when he joined for Crazy For You.  Over the years he has appeared many times in the Musical Years concerts, and in a variety of roles in shows such as My Fair Lady, West Side Story, The Producers, and 42nd Street last time around!

Jonty has been performing from an early age, appearing in the national tours of Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat whilst at school in Nottingham.  Since moving to Leeds, he has performed in Yorkshire and beyond - from Jesus Christ Superstar (Buxton Opera House) to playing the Scarecrow in The Wiz (Bradford Alhambra), and The Wizard of Oz (City Varieties), Malcolm in The Full Monty (Bradford Playhouse and the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield) to Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors and Billy in Billy (Wetherby). 

Jonty has just finished co-directing The Full Monty in Wetherby.   

Ian Hewitt
Ian Hewitt from Keighley plays the part of Abner Dillon

Ian first joined LAOS in 1987 for the Broadway version of The Pirates Of Penzance, previously having performed for many years with Keighley AODS.  Since then, he has appeared in a large number of our shows, playing various roles including Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma! (1992), Charles in Me & My Girl (1997), Everett Baker in Crazy For You (1998) and Grandfather in Ragtime (2007) – all here at the Grand Theatre.  In fact, this is Ian’s second time as Abner Dillon in this theatre, as he played the same role in our 2003 production, in addition to having played him for Yeadon AOS and Kippax AOS.

 Ian also served on the LAOS Committee for 22 years.


Mike Porter

Mike Porter from Pontefract plays the part of Pat Denning

Mike joined LAOS to play the part of Frederick in The Pirates Of Penzance in 1987, having previously been with Kippax AOS, where he played numerous principal roles.  Since joining LAOS, he has played many principal leads with us, including Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (2001), Julian Marsh in 42nd Street (2003), Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! (2004), Father in Ragtime (2007) and Max Detweiler in The Sound Of Music (2013), all at the Grand Theatre.  At the West Yorkshire Playhouse, he played Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar (2005), The Beadle in Sweeney Todd (2008), Cpt Brackett in South Pacific (2011) and, one of his favourite parts, Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof (2010), a role which Mike will be reprising with Kippax AOS in two months’ time.

Paul Bamber
Paul Bamber from Thackley, Bradford plays the part of Andy Lee

This is Paul’s sixth production with LAOS, first joining in 2009 for The King and I as The Interpreter, and since then appearing as Sasha in Fiddler on the Roof, a dancing salt pot in Beauty and the Beast, in the company of Chess and Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls.

Paul first took to the stage rather late at the age of 29 at Yeadon Town Hall with The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company in Spend Spend Spend (2006). He followed this as a member of the ensemble in several shows before appearing as a principal with various companies, including Carmen Ghia in The Producers and Keno in The Full Monty (both BrassNeck Theatre), The Tinman in The Wizard of Oz (Skipton AODS), and also Lumiere in the Yeadon Amateurs production of Beauty and the Beast, for which Paul received the Wharfedale Theatre Festival Award for the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.


42nd Street cast

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