Musician realises childhood dream of playing at Churchill Theatre

PUBLISHED: 14:47 25 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 May 2016

Helena Gullan used to dream of performing at the Churchill Theatre

Helena Gullan used to dream of performing at the Churchill Theatre

Michael Wharley

Violinist and singer Helena Gullan appeared in musical show Ireland’s Call

A musician has spoken of her happiness at being able to realise her childhood dream of playing at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre after appearing there for the first time last Friday.

Helena Gullan, 27, used to imagine herself performing at the Churchill as she walked from Bromley South Station to Bromley North Theatre for rehearsals as a teenager.

On Friday (April 22), she appeared in Ireland’s Call, a new musical show that is currently touring the UK.

“It was really special for me, having started doing my theatre in Bromley Little Theatre, to go back to Bromley and perform at the Churchill,” she said.

“I am from south-east London, so Bromley is really close to me and I have spent lots of time there.

“My dad does a lot of music at the Ripley Arts Centre and we are both members of Bromley Music Makers, so it is close to our hearts.”

Ms Gullan features as ensemble singer and violinist in the musical, which tells the story of a young man who leaves his childhood sweetheart in Ireland in search of a better life in the Big Apple at the end of the second world war.

“I think for many of us, even if we have been raised in England we have Irish heritage, and most people can relate to the story,” Ms Gullan said.

“We all know what it is like to leave people behind and to have people leave us.

“It is a great show, very upbeat and fun, and also very poignant. I sing Danny Boy, which is a very emotional song and very special, and it is a story that resonates on a human level.”

Ms Gullan performed her first show at Bromley Little Theatre at the age of 16, before going on to study a music and drama degree at Royal Holloway, University of London and undergo further acting tuition in Los Angeles.

She said: “It was a completely different experience to live out there. The lifestyle was very different, and there is an amazing buzz about the place. I am very grateful to have work in England but I would like to be able to base myself over there and over here.”

The producers of Ireland’s Call are hoping to take the show on a tour of the US next year - and Ms Gullan would like to be part of it, saying ‘it would be amazing to return there with a show from over here’.

After the current UK tour finishes, she will play the young Charlie Chaplin in an adaptation of the actor’s life and is also participating in an electronic music project featuring live instruments and a beat box.

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