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Shropshire West End star Sophie Bould back where it all began

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A West End star from Shropshire is busy preparing for a return to the stage where her acting dream began 22 years ago.

Sophie Bould, from Church Aston, near Newport, is set to play the lead role of Tracy Lord in the musical High Society, which will run at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton from February 26 until March 2.

Shropshire actress Sophie Bould

The former Thomas Telford School pupil has previously appeared on the London Palladium stage as both Liesl and Maria in The Sound of Music and on the small screen in BBC's Holby City.

She described returning to the Wolverhampton stage as 'exciting' as it is the first theatre she ever performed at as a child.

Sophie, 30, said: "I'm really looking forward to this production getting under way. We've just started rehearsals but for me it's particularly exciting to be performing at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton.

"It's the stage where it all began for me. The South Staffs Musical Theatre Company was looking for a girl for a role in a play and it was performed at the Grand – I was only eight at the time and played a little French girl.

"It was from that performance that I knew I wanted to be an actress, it propelled me to take drama lessons and now I'm returning to that stage. It's a strange but lovely feeling."

High Society tells the story of Tracy Lord who is about to get married for the second time to high-class gentleman George Kittredge.

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But before the wedding her former husband Dexter Haven, a successful jazz musician, tries to win back her affections.

Sophie said: "The play concentrates on a high society young lady who is just about to get married. She's been married once before and the guy she divorced tries to win her back.

"It's a feelgood show with lots of popular music. You're kept guessing right until the end who she will end up marrying. I think it's going to be a great show."

The show features Michael Praed and Daniel Boys as Ms Lord's love interests.

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Mr Praed shot to fame in the 1980s as Robin Hood in the television show Robin of Sherwood. While Mr Boys was a contestant on the BBC talent series Any Dream Will Do in 2007 in which he competed to win the role of Joseph in the West End.

Sophie said: "Tracy is an incredibly interesting character and goes on a massive journey throughout the play. It's a great challenge for me. I've played a lot of juvenile leads so it's nice to now play a woman.

"I played Maria in The Sound of Music which was my first role as a leading woman but I'm more used to younger roles. It's great to get this opportunity and I get to put on my dancing shoes which is always fun."

Sophie added she will now take a break from rehearsals to head back to Shropshire for a Christmas break. She said: "I've had a busy year. I've just finished a production called The Go Between which I did in West Yorkshire and in Northampton and Derby.

"I live in London but we've got a small break in rehearsals so I'm going to come back to Shropshire for a few days to see my family.

"I love coming home, Shropshire is so beautiful and I get to see all my family.

"Then in the new year I'm off on tour with High Society. We start in Llandudno in January and go almost everywhere over the next six months. It's going to be hectic but a lot of fun."

By Joseph Masi

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