Mansfield-born actress fulfils dream to star in New York production

Louise Leverett
Louise Leverett

A BUDDING local actress aspiring to appear on Broadway has landed a starring role in a play showing in New York.

Twenty-four-year-old Louise Leverett, who grew up in Mansfield, is currently performing in Geoffrey Horne’s production of classic play The Seagull and will appear on stage at the Lee Strasberg Theatre until the end of the month.

Said Louise: “While studying at Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute last summer, I got the opportunity to audition for a play against quite a few American actresses.

“From this I was actually offered the part and was cast as ‘Sabina’ from The Skin Of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder.

“One night during the run of the play, a director named Geoffrey Horne was in the audience and he later remembered my performance.

“So when he was casting his production of The Seagull he called me up out of the blue once I had returned to the UK and offered me the part of Arkadina and of course I accepted immediately!”

Louise made her mind up she wanted to become an actor at an early age and was influenced by watching old Doris Day films like Calamity Jane with her family while growing up.

She said she made the decision to attend drama school in London once she had finished studying at school in Mansfield.

“I was so determined and luckily I got into Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts to train - otherwise I don’t know what I would have done instead!”

After attending Mountview, Louise moved ‘across the pond’ to attend the school named after the man who helped popularise method acting - Lee Strasberg.

“Studying at Lee Strasberg was absolutely fantastic,” she said.

“As you walk in the building the place is surrounded by pictures of previous students such as Marilyn Monroe and Al Pacino. You can’t help but be inspired.

“Also I got to meet and work with students there from all over the world from Australia to Haiti.”

The Seagull is one of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s best known works.

Louise plays Arkadina, an actress leading a life of riches while her family are stuck in poverty.

She said performing in New York was a ‘dream come true’.

“The difference for me was that walking out of the stage door you are surrounded by skyscrapers and billboards and the most incredible view of New York city,” she said.

“The only down side is that my family are incredibly supportive and come and see everything I am in but, naturally, as I was all the way over in New York they couldn’t come.

“But this time around my sister is flying out to see me so there will be at least one friendly face in the audience!”

And Louise hopes The Seagull could lead to even bigger breaks in the future.

She said: “In the future I would love to have a successful career in all areas of acting.

“I would love to appear in the West End - or even Broadway, but my true passion is film and to land a role in a British independent role would be a dream come true.”