Former Welwyn Garden City pupil stars in Mamma Mia! in the West End

PUBLISHED: 15:26 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:19 16 August 2017

Caroline Deverill as Donna in Mamma Mia! Image: Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Caroline Deverill as Donna in Mamma Mia! Image: Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

From ballet lessons in St Albans to the bright lights of London’s West End.

MAMMA MIA! 
London Cast  2017/2018 MAMMA MIA! London Cast 2017/2018

Caroline Deverill, who grew up in Welwyn Garden City, is one of two actresses playing the lead role of Donna in the hit ABBA-themed musical at the Novello Theatre.

“It’s something that I genuinely dreamed of,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times. “The fact that I get to do it, I still have to pinch myself.”

Caroline, 39, has never been shy to entertain. Having attended Watchlytes School and Sir Frederic Osborn School in WGC, she says: “The other kids at school must have hated me - I’d always clown around!”

She got involved in dance and theatre from an early age, attending Melanie Jane Dance Academy in Welwyn Garden City (now closed) and Margarita Hoare School of Dancing in St Albans.

“They were great at encouraging me and helping,” she said. “They helped build up my ballet, and as a dancer you need a good base.”

Now Caroline is playing Donna, a single mum, one night a week in Mamma Mia! and is part of the ensemble cast on other nights. One highlight is getting to sing one of her favourite ABBA songs, One Of Us, in the role.

“Mamma Mia! can easily be dismissed as just a vehicle for ABBA songs,” she said. “But [it] does create a heartwarming story to get your teeth into.

“It’s such a feel-good show.”

Caroline, who now lives on the South Coast, says her tip for aspiring actors is to work hard and get involved in any way they can.

“I know it’s easy to just say ‘go for it’, when that can be hard financially,” she said. “But just find any kind of outlet, whether it’s a youth group or a dance school.

“When I put the hours in and knuckled down, I felt I’d given myself the strength to keep going and that I’d done my best.

“And don’t be shy!”

You can catch Caroline as Donna and in the ensemble cast of Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, Aldwych, until June 2018.

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