Hollie Steel - Britain's Got Talent star goes back to The Lowry
PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 December 2017
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Accrington's Hollie Steel is back where her career began ten years ago as a hopeful on Britain's Got Talent, writes Rebekka O'Grady.
‘This is my first lead role as an adult, but the character I am playing is a nine-year-old and I am 19!’, exclaims Hollie Steel, who first burst onto our screens aged ten as the sensational young singer who captured the nation’s hearts on Britain’s Got Talent.
The singer from Accrington had her first audition for the talent show at The Lowry in Salford Quays, and this December she is back gracing the same stage in the theatre’s first ever Christmas show which they have been responsible for commissioning and producing – The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas.
‘I am so excited. It’s great to be back at The Lowry. When I first found out I had the lead role, I was ecstatic. Holly, the character I am playing, is just like me – she loves Christmas too.’
It’s a family show and the main character, Holly Christmas, is clever, fun and fearless – full of energy and ideas. All she wants is for her dad to let some fun into his life but all he wants is for Holly to sit down and stay safe.
A magic book, a Christmas wish and two Christmas elfs launch Holly on an adventure she’ll never forget, creating everything she thinks Christmas should be and teaching Holly, and her Dad, what a perfect Christmas really looks like.
‘This will be my first acting role since appearing as Louisa in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sound of Music around 12 years ago, so I am really looking forward to working with a team and with other actors. I love the creative process.’
Since appearing in the competition final, Hollie has been concentrating on her musical career, releasing three albums and several singles. But none of it might have happened if it was not for her older brother Josh auditioning for the ITV talent show. ‘Josh was auditioning and I really wanted to do a duet with him, but he didn’t want to so I decided to have a go myself as a bit of fun.
‘I had been dancing at Basics Junior Theatre School in Burnley since I was four, but it was only when I decided to audition that I began to sing. It’s funny that I ended up going further than him!’
The young star was awarded a place in the live finals, but most people will likely remember Hollie for the moment she burst into tears after forgetting the words to her semi-final performance of Edelweiss. It sparked controversy as to whether the pressure was too much for young performers, but it’s not something the singer dwells on.
‘When I watch the videos online now, I think “Oh, that poor child.” But it doesn’t seem like me. I don’t remember the night that I forgot the words, but I do feel sorry for myself when I watch it. When people ask me about it now, I just shrug it off. I was only ten.’
Hollie’s nerves are now non-existent and she regularly posts songs to her YouTube channel where she has over 46,000 subscribers. The songs are a mix of pop and classic, to appeal to her broad range of fans. She has also been working recently with a producer from Los Angeles on a new single, Feed the Wolves.
‘It’s a full-on pop track. I wanted to do something new, a bit more grown up. The song is about not feeding those who are negative toward you, but being a lone wolf and doing what you want. We are going to see how this goes, but I would like to release a few more singles. However, my ultimate career dream is to play the part of Christine in the Phantom of the Opera in the West End.’
Hollie already has an inside look into the West End thanks to living with her brother Josh in London. He is currently part of the ensemble cast of Aladdin in the Prince Edward Theatre. However, when The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas starts rehearsals and its performance run takes place December 20 – 31, Hollie will be moving back home to Lancashire.
‘I went to Oakhill College in Whalley but moved to the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London when I was 12, so I always love coming back home. Everyone up north is so friendly! We always go bowling in Burnley, it’s a tradition.’
So will the family be taking a front row seat when the curtains are raised at The Lowry? If it was up to Hollie, she wouldn’t let them see her perform. ‘I am always so nervous when family come to watch me, I have to tell my mum not to come on opening night but a performance I don’t know about so there’s no added pressure!’ w
The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas takes place at The Lowry from December 20 – 31. www.thelowry.com