Student to make West End stage debut in 'The Girls' musicial
A London College of Music (LCM) student has won a stage role in a West End musical after impressing Take That singer Gary Barlow on the BBC TV talent show, Let It Shine.
Tyler Smith, 20, who is in his second year of BA (Hons) Musical Theatre at LCM – which is part of the University of West London - will be an ensemble performer in ‘The Girls’, a musical adaptation of the film, Calendar Girls, from this month (April) at the Phoenix Theatre, in London.
This West End debut role is the latest step in an incredible journey which Tyler has made in only a short period of time. In January, he took part in Let It Shine and impressed judge Gary Barlow - who has written the music for ‘The Girls’ - so much that when he exited the series, Barlow encouraged him to audition for the show.
Tyler said: ‘When I auditioned for ‘The Girls’, I had everything from my course in my mind. The College tutors have taught us so much which was invaluable for that high pressure situation, including being willing to take risks because if you’re not prepared to fail, then you won’t succeed.
‘I’ve gone from working in a café in Yorkshire, to being accepted to study at London College of Music, to performing on TV and now on stage in the West End. I’m still pinching myself to be honest,’ he added.
As well as singing and dancing in the ensemble cast, Tyler will also be the understudy for two other roles. Appearing nightly in ‘The Girls’ won’t stop him completing his Musical Theatre studies, either. Tyler said: ‘My tutors said I can do the show and then resume my course, which is great. I know how important my degree is and I want to complete it.’
Musical Theatre course leader, Steven Sparling, praised Tyler for achieving this high-profile opportunity so early in his performing career.
He said: ‘It’s rare for a young performer to make their professional debut in the West End, which is testament to Tyler’s skill and talent. This is another step forward for the Musical Theatre programme at London College of Music and we are very proud of him for winning this role.’
This year, London College of Music celebrates its 130th anniversary. Director of LCM, Sara Raybould, said: ‘As we celebrate 130 years of music education at London College of Music, I am reminded of our philosophy of being underpinned by history and tradition, but never bound by it. We live up to this by developing innovative and varied courses, supported by state-of-the-art facilities and academics who are active in industry and also research, which prepare our students for successful careers in tomorrow’s music industry. Tyler’s achievement is a wonderful validation of this approach.’