Laura’s star role in Hemingway play

Laura Atherton (left) and Stephanie Jones

Laura Atherton (left) and Stephanie Jones

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IT’S a long way from playing in panto at Wigan St Michael’s Hall to taking the lead role in a world famous Hemingway play.

But it’s a journey made by local girl Laura Atherton, a former pupil at St John Fisher and a student at Winstanley College.

Laura, 28, has been chosen to play the lead role in Ernest Hemingway’s world famous play Farewell to Arms.

The girl who has always had stars in her eyes said: “I never had a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to be an actress and received such a lot of support from my teachers and my parents.”

After leaving drama school, Laura set about her career with gusto and joined the Imitating the Dog company, appearing in five productions.

Looking back, she said: “I first trod the boards with St Michael’s Drama Group in Wigan – and appeared in five pantomimes. I loved being on stage. It was always thrilling.

“When doing my drama degree, I came back to help at St Michael’s Summer School. It was a little way of giving something back.

“My drama teacher at school gave me a lot of encouragement, but people kept saying that the acting business was very precarious. I appreciated that but I wouldn’t be moved. I was determined to be an actress.”

With regrets, Laura left Wigan for London .

She added: “It’s great to have gained the lead female role in Farewell to Arms, and we’ve already opened at Lancaster. In one of the plays, we toured abroad going to Brazil, Taiwan, France and Italy.”

Set during the first world war, Farewell to Arms is considered by some to the best love story of the last century.

Farewell to Arms plays at the Lowry from November 13 to 15.