WEST END STORY: Jessie Buckley (I'd Do Anything)
Jessie Buckley decided to apply for I'd Do Anything because she had recently applied for two drama schools but been turned down. While she was one of the younger contestants in the competition she frequently received positive feedback from the judges and made it to the final, going up against Jodie Prenger for the role. Before the winner was announced, Barry Humphries, Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber all chose Jessie as their pick for Nancy. Ultimately the public voted for Jodie as their Nancy.
In her exit interview Jessie demonstrated maturity and positivity in summing up her experience: "It's onwards and upwards for me, I'm reaching for the moon and this is just the beginning of something that I love doing. I'm so glad that this has been my starting point, because what a starting point!"
Since the competition ended, Jessie has been a good example of how you don't have to win to be successful. Upon leaving she took part in a number of one-off concerts, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th Birthday in the Park at which she sang 'I Don't Know How to Love Him' as a solo, and 'Light At the End of the Tunnel' along with a group of contestants from I'd Do Anything and Any Dream Will Do. Although she was offered a role understudying Jodie Prenger, she announced that from November 2008 she would be appearing as Anne Egerman in Trevor Nunn's production of A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory alongside Maureen Lipman, Hannah Waddingham and Alexander Hanson.
The show enjoyed a successful run and her performance saw her nominated for a WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for 'Best Supporting Actress in a Musical'. It was announced that the show would be transferring to the Garrick Theatre in April 2009, which would mark her first West End role. The show ran in the Garrick until late July 2009.
Since A Little Night Music, Jessie has taken part in a number of national concerts and showcases, including A Little Less Ordinary to showcase the work of Michael Bruce. She also stepped in to provide temporary cover for the last minute illness of a cast member in last year's Perfect Pitch showcase at Trafalgar Studios, playing wheelchair-bound Mairin in Dougal Irvine's In Touch.
In February of this year she demonstrated an aptitude for jazz during her sold out Pizza on the Park cabaret, and most recently she performed at the annual Night of 1000 Voices concert at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside a plethora of musical theatre stars including Philip Quast, AlEd Jones, Kerry Ellis and Adam Pascal.
It was also recently announced that Jessie has been cast as the female lead in her first film, Join My Band. The story is a romantic comedy, in which Jessie plays the role of rebellious rock-chick Stella who joins a new school and quickly has nerdy Steve (played by newcomer Max Fowler) smitten. The film starts shooting next month.
Jessie can also be seen live in cabaret on the 31st July at the Delfont Room.