Isabella part of national youth musical

Isabella Jeffrey, front in pink jacket, played the role of Fanny Mendelssohn in the Youth Music Theatre UK musical First Ladies, which was performed at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. Picture courtesy of Youth Music Theatre UK.
Isabella Jeffrey, front in pink jacket, played the role of Fanny Mendelssohn in the Youth Music Theatre UK musical First Ladies, which was performed at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. Picture courtesy of Youth Music Theatre UK.

A teenager has set her sights on a career in musical theatre after recently taking part in a Youth Music Theatre (YMT) UK production.

Following a successful audition in Stockton in May, Isabella Jeffrey was cast onto the production of a musical to be performed at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth.

First Ladies is a new musical about a group of pioneering women from different eras in history coming together to celebrate each other’s achievements and discuss how they had helped pave the way for generations of women to come.

The 16-year-old, who lives on a farm in the Widdrington area, played the role of Fanny Mendelssohn – a talented but largely unknown music composer.

She was majorly overshadowed by her brother Felix’s work, despite the fact that he himself had admitted she was the more talented one.

Isabella thanked her former school, King Edward VI School in Morpeth, for its part in her music development. She has performed as part of KEVI choirs and is a member of the KEVI Community Jazz Band.

Of the YMT musical, she said: “I got so much out of the experience. We had two weeks of rehearsals before the performances and the whole cast stayed together in a big house, which helped us to bond.

“It was an interesting role and as well as acting lines and being part of an ensemble, I had a solo line in one of the songs.

“It was great being part of such a talented cast and the musical was headed by an excellent creative team. As a result, I learned a great deal about the industry.”

After finishing her GCSEs at KEVI this summer, Isabella started a musical theatre diploma at Newcastle College this week. Her current plan is to then do a university degree in the same subject.

She said: “I love all three aspects of musical theatre – acting, singi-ng and dancing – and so I decided to apply for the course at Newcastle College in order to fully focus on developing my musical theatre skills.”

Isabella, who has also taken part in St George’s Community Players performances, is still a member of the KEVI Community Jazz Band. Her vocal training will continue with Clare-Marie Roxby.