Actress Alice Stokoe, who grew up in Jarrow, is to make her West End debut in hit musical Mamma Mia!
Alice, who won a scholarship to study at London’s Italia Conti stage school in 2009, is the daughter of BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown and his wife Susan, director of corporate affairs at Port of Tyne.
Both are former Journal reporters, Jeff on sport and Susan on news, but Jeff was quick to temper his pride by saying; “This is not about me.”
Alice has seemed destined for a showbusiness career from an early age, having performed with the National Youth Music Theatre and appeared in three pantos at the Customs House, South Shields.
Jeff explained that she took the professional surname Stokoe, the maiden name of Susan’s grandmother, because there was already an Alice Brown on the books of acting union Equity when she graduated from Italia Conti.
He said she had been been named Alice after the same much-loved relative.
Mamma Mia! has been an enormopus hit, having been seen by more than 54m people in 39 different productions in 14 languages, grossing more than $2bn at the box office.
A series of major cast changes will come into effect in the production at London’s Novello Theatre on June 9, with Alice taking the part of Sophie Sheridan.
As Jeff pointed out, June 9 is Blaydon Races day. “For a Geordie girl, it’s an unforgettable date.”