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Niamh_Perry

Niamh Perry

Niamh Perry (born 10 June 1990 in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish singer and actress who competed as one of the finalists in the BBC talent show-themed television series I'd Do Anything in 2008.

Background

Perry attended Our Lady and St. Patrick's College, Knock but left during her A-Levels in early 2008 and moved to London to compete in I'd Do Anything.

In 2007 Perry achieved a Distinction in her Grade 8 classical singing exam, for which she won the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) Outstanding Achievement Award for Contribution to the Arts

Perry was a member of Music Theatre for Youth (MT4UTH) from when the company was founded in 2005. She was also a member of the MT4UTH Showcase group, Footlighters. She performed with MT4UTH in productions of Sweet Charity, in which she played the lead role of Charity, Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls and West Side Story. She also sang a solo at the re-opening of the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

She participated in two Cinemagic productions under the direction of Suranne Jones, including Wicked and she gained lead roles in both productions.

In February 2008, Perry took part in an NSPCC campaign encouraging adults to call the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline if they had concerns about a child's welfare. She also recorded a CD for charity with two school friends, under the group name Paradis. The CD was played on several local radio stations and they were twice invited to sing live on U105.

I'd Do Anything

In March 2008, Perry was announced as one of the final 12 contestants in the BBC1 programme "I'd Do Anything". The programme premiered on 15 March, 2008 and aimed to find a performer to play Nancy in a West End revival of the hit musical Oliver!.

On the first live show, on 29 March, she sang "The First Cut is the Deepest". Judge Denise Van Outen commented that Perry had the look and presence of a young Bernadette Peters while fellow judge, Barry Humphries suggested that she could originate the role of Wednesday in The Adams Family musical.

In the second show, on 5 April, she sang "I've Got the Music in Me". Judge John Barrowman described the performance as "wicked, outstanding and wonderful. Absolutely spot on". Andrew Lloyd Webber agreed, stating "you're just extraordinary. You put the vamp back into vampire for me." During the third live show on 12 April, Perry sang "Moon River". Van Outen commented "It was a beautiful performance, I loved the fragility of it." John Barrowman agreed, "your fragility could redefine the role of Nancy, it was very emotional and precise".

The fourth live show took place on 19 April with Perry singing "Wind Beneath My Wings", which she dedicated to her older sister Ciara. Again she received positive feedback from the judging panel. Van Outen saying, "That was gorgeous. I think you're captivating - you give such a classy performance." Humphries said her performance was "exquisite - I've been Fagin to a lot of Nancys and I'd be very happy to take a curtain call with you." Barrowman said that he wanted Perry to improve her confidence, saying, "Believe those compliments - you are good, trust me." And Lloyd Webber said "It was a wonderful performance, you are great."

For the fifth show she sang "Valerie" and for the first time received criticism with Barrowman comenting that she had a problem with her diction. Van Outen agreed and said that her performance "lacked punch". Humphries however called it "wild and wayward, another aspect of your great talent", with Lloyd Webber saying she was terrific. She was in the bottom two and had to compete in the sing-off with Keisha Amponsa-Benson, singing "The Rose" (from the film of the same name). Lloyd Webber chose to save Perry. Before announcing his decision he said, "First, I'm going to say this is a complete and utter travesty, neither of you should be in the bottom two, it's completely wrong. I've been put into a situation that I have never wanted to be in. For the first time on a television show, I am angry."

The sixth show took place on 4 May with Perry singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me". She was praised by the panel with Van outen saying "That was a very mature and sophisticated performance. It was a lovely vocal". Barrowman said "That was a class act and you don't deserve to be in the bottom two" with Humphries adding "That was a very good, intelligent and lyrical reading of that great song by Gershwin". Lloyd Webber was happy with performance and agreed with the rest of the judges saying "It was great, the intensity is there, the acting is there. I think you did wonderfully."

In week seven Perry was involved in the sing-off as well as being chosen by the Olivers to sing with them. She sang "True Colours" as her individual performance on the Saturday show on 10 May. In "The Battle of the Nancy's" she sang "Candyman" as part of "The Girls" trio with Jessie Buckley and Samantha Barks. And on the Results show the following day she was chosen by the Olivers to sing "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" from the musical of the same name with them. Perry was again though, for the second time, in the bottom two and in the sing-off; this time with Ashley Russell, with Russell having received the lowest number of viewers votes. They sang "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from the musical Evita. Lloyd Webber chose to save Perry and eliminate Russell.

Perry was eliminated from the show in week eight. She sang Don't Speak, but received criticism from the panel with Van Outen saying "That was more like a teenager having a tantrum than a leading lady." Barrowman said it was vocally strong but added "I'm also worried that that wouldn't register at the back of the stalls." Humphries said it was a gritty performance but also added that there was a serious technical problem in that Perry was comparably small and the boys would "look like giants clustering around her on stage". Lloyd Webber said he wasn't sure she was ready to do eight shows a week, adding "your voice hasn't developed yet and I wouldn't want you to ruin it forever."

She was in the sing-off for a third time, this time with Rachel Tucker, with Perry having received the lowest number of viewers votes. They sang "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" from the musical Evita. Lloyd Webber chose to save Tucker and eliminate Perry saying, "Niamh, if I was casting Evita, I would seriously think of you for that role." After choosing to eliminate Perry he said of her, "your voice just needs time to mature and I wouldn't be surprised if you were up for a major leading role when you're twenty."

After I'd Do Anything

Perry played the lead role of Belle in the musical Only the Brave, which had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on 31 July, 2008 at the George Square theatre and ran until 25 August. On 13 September, 2008 she performed alongside fellow I'd Do Anything finalist Rachel Tucker at the Proms in the Park, held at Belfast City Hall as part of the nationwide celebration of the BBC Last Night of the Proms. She is due to appear in pantomime at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne, East Sussex from 12 December, 2008 to 11 January, 2009 in Show White and the Seven Dwarfs playing the lead role of Snow White alongside Stefan Booth.

References

External links

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