Actor in line for top award

Ibinabo in Dream Girls
Ibinabo in Dream Girls

An actor who landed her dream role in the West End - after juggling three part-time jobs - is now in the running for a top award.

Former Winstanley College student Ibinabo Jack, 34, has spent the past few months enjoying a starring role in the cast of Dreamgirls at The Savoy Theatre in London.

Ibinabo Jack

Ibinabo Jack

And her performances have earned her a nomination from industry website BroadwayWorld in the best supporting actress in a new musical category.

Currently the starlet from Billinge is leading the voting, ahead of up-and-comers appearing in productions such as Ragtime, On The Town, Everybody’s Talking About James and the National Theatre’s Follies.

Ibinabo, who also attended Orrell St Peter’s RC High School, is now looking for Wiganers to help cement her success, with the award’s being decided on a public vote.

“It would be incredible if Wigan Post readers could vote for me as to win the prize would round off a brilliant year,” she said.

She plays the role of Lorrell Robinson in the Motown-inspired musical, a character said to have been inspired by one of The Supremes.

Her talents are also due for small screen recognition early next year when she takes on a role in the crime drama Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn. She will play Det Con Jacqueline Williams.

Before now, she has cited Andy Stott, the then-head of music at Winstanley College, for taking her under his wing, during her time there, and sparking her enduring interest in musical theatre.

She also trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts for three years from 2006.

“Andy helped me mock up a CV and my first headshot and he gave me audition tips,” she said. “With his help I got down to the final stages of the UK touring production of Rent when I was just 17. After that I bought The Stage paper every fortnight and I auditioned for anything and everything.”

She was first persuaded to take to the stage by classmates at St Peter’s, though, winning an end-of-term talent show with her rendition of Killing Me Softly by the Fugees.

An ABBA medley with friends and a version of Cleopatra’s I Want You Back, with two of her sisters, secured back-to-back triumphs in the two subsequent years.

Her professional debut came in The Legend of the Lion King, directed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, at Disneyland Paris in 2004.

Credits since then include the role of Pilar in Legally Blonde in the West End and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

She auditioned for Dreamgirls in June 2015 when she was living back at home in Wigan and working three part-time jobs. Then within hours of each other in the November of that year she was offered the Dreamgirls role and one in a production of The Bodyguard UK Tour and she says he life changed forever.

Readers can vote for Ibinabo online at https://www.broadwayworld.com/westend/vote2017region.cfm and clicking on the link for the best new supporting actress category on the organisation’s website.