BY JAMES TWOMEY
The winner of a national musical competition says she “cannot wait to perform on the West End stage” after reaching the final for the second time in a row.
Serafina Bird, 18, won the West End Calling competition at the second time of asking after reaching the final in 2016 but narrowly missed out and now has the opportunity to perform in front of potentially thousands of people.
The competition pits aspiring musical theatre performers aged six-21 against each other for the opportunity to perform at West End LIVE – a musical festival which takes place in Trafalgar Square on June 22-23 and hosts London’s best musical theatre talent.
Serafina, from Forest Hill, was 16 when she first entered West End Calling and got all the way to the final where she performed at the Ambassadors’ Theatre in Covent Garden.
That year she missed out but after taking a year off she returned to West End Calling as she felt more advanced with her singing and wanted to give it another go.
This year Serafina flew through the auditioning rounds and first heats to make it to the final which took place at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest theatre, The Other Palace in the West End.
Mr Lloyd Webber was in the building on the day to see the final and give out autographs.
Serafina said: “I am very happy to have won as I was not focused on winning, but rather performing in an amazing venue for an audience.
“I love that West End Calling gets current performers from the West End to give helpful feedback for each round, and not just for the particular song, but also for future performances.
“It is a unique competition as you get to sing in amazing venues for an audience, and develop your skills as a performer. I cannot wait to perform at West End LIVE.”
Courtney Reed, who is currently playing Jasmine in Aladdin the Musical, was one of Serafina’s judges and in the final told her: “You have a crazy technical voice and don’t worry at all where you’re placing it which means as a viewer, we aren’t worried at all about where your voice is gonna go because it’s just one voice.
“It’s just phenomenal. I kept watching you thinking ‘this girl is wise beyond her years,’ and you have a soulful quality to your voice which is so pleasing and I loved it so much.”
West End Calling will be auditioning again in London in the autumn and you can sign up for them now at www.westendcalling.co.uk