Lauren Bonner 26 March 1988
|Occupation||Actress and singer|
|Website||Page at BBC|
Lauren Samuels (born 26 March 1988) is an English singer/actress and was a contestant on the 2010 BBC UK TV series Over the Rainbow. Since appearing on the show she has gone on to appear in West End theatre, including playing the lead role of Sandy in Grease.
Samuels was born Lauren Bonner but adopted the stage name Lauren Samuels for her elder brother, Samuel. She was born with a condition that seriously affected her hearing, causing her to have to wear two hearing aids. However, her hearing completely returned to normal at the age of 18.
She started ballet lessons at the age of two, began private tutorials at the Hinckley Speech and Drama Studio at seven and started singing lessons at thirteen. She studied BTEC National Diploma Performing Arts at Stratford-upon-Avon College, was a member of Youth Music Theatre UK in 2005 and also studied at the Guildford School of Acting, graduating in 2009.
Over the Rainbow
Samuels was a contestant on the 2010 BBC show Over the Rainbow: a talent contest to find an actress to play Dorothy in a West End revival of The Wizard of Oz. Samuels made it through to the final eleven girls who would compete for the public vote through individual performances. Despite coming in the bottom two for votes on three occasions, Samuels made it through to the final, where she ultimately came third to runner-up Sophie Evans and winner Danielle Hope.
|Week one (03/04/10)||"Run" (Snow Patrol)|
|Week two (10/04/10)||"I'll Never Fall in Love Again" (from Promises, Promises)|
|Week three (17/04/10)||"Sway" (Dean Martin)|
|Week four (24/04/10)||"Nobody Knows" (Pink)|
|Week five (01/05/10)||"The Man that Got Away" (from A Star Is Born)|
|Week six (08/05/10)||"Being Alive" (from Company)|
|Week seven (semi-final) (15 May 2010)||"Heaven" (Bryan Adams)|
|Week eight (final) (22 May 2010)||"I Could Have Danced All Night" (from My Fair Lady)|
Samuels, along with the other two finalists of Over the Rainbow, recorded a version of "Over the Rainbow" with the intention of the eventual winner's song being made available for purchase shortly after the finale. Hope's recording was originally the only version released, but both Evans' and Samuels' versions of the song were ultimately made available for download on 6 June 2010. She also appeared with the other contestants in a Wizard of Oz medley featured as a b-side on the CD single of Hope's "Over the Rainbow." Samuels also recorded "Someone You'd Be Proud Of" for the concept album of "The In-Between". The album was released in early 2012. In 2017 she recorded two songs for the album Wit & Whimsy - Songs by Alexander S. Bermange (one solo and one featuring all of the album's 23 artists), which reached No. 1 in the iTunes comedy album chart.
On 26 July 2010, she made her West End debut as Sandy in the London production of Grease, replacing Siobhan Dillon. She played Cathy in a production of the two-character musical The Last Five Years, which ran at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick from 9 February to 5 March 2011.
Samuels played the role of Scaramouche in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London from late 2011. Following this she starred as the title character in Vampirette the Musical at the Manchester Opera House in May 2012. She reprised her role in We Will Rock You for its 10th anniversary tour, which commenced on 25 February 2012
- "Lauren stars in TV's Dorothy talent show". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- "Lauren's Dorothy rollercoaster continues". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- "Lauren". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Anonymous. "Lauren Samuels". Stratford-upon-Avon College. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "Graduates 2009". Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 3 - BBC One". YouTube. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 5 - BBC One". YouTube. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 7 - BBC One". YouTube. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 9 - BBC One". YouTube. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren: The Man That Got Away - Over The Rainbow - Episode 11 - BBC One". YouTube. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 13 - BBC One". YouTube. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren's Performance - Over the Rainbow - Episode 15 - BBC One". YouTube. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Lauren Performs I Could Have Danced All Night - Over The Rainbow - Episode 17 BBC One". YouTube. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Danielle Hope ('Over the Rainbow')". Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Lyn Gardner (11 December 2009). "Peter Pan". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- "Over the Rainbow's Lauren Samuels to join Grease cast". Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- Andy Propst (3 December 2010). "Lauren Samuels, Christopher Pym Set for The Last Five Years in London". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "Hinckley's Lauren Samuels is all set to rock in a top role". TheHinckleyTimes.net. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Vampirette Cast & Creatives". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
- "West End's Bend It Like Beckham Musical Casts Its Complete Team". playbill.com. Playbill. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.