Danielle Hope Biography
If Danielle hope had not been made to play Betty Rizzo, the leader of the Pink Ladies in "Grease" at her primary school in Urmston, she would not be flying Over the Rainbow in 2011.
"I was so shy the whole way through primary school and I told the teachers I couldn't do it, but they forced me on to the stage," she said.
As soon as I got on I found it incredibly easy to be someone else on stage, I suddenly found something that I could do. It gave me the chance to escape and I didn't feel like myself any more."
When she went on to Knutsford High School in Cheshire she continued acting playing Carmen in "Fame" the Narrator in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat," and Maria in "West Side Story".
She gave up her part time job as a waitress to concentrate on her A Levels in Drama and Dance and a BTEC National Award in Musical Theatre.
When she auditioned for the part of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of "The Wizard of Oz" she was up against over 9,000 girls, but she made the final 10 and was immediately popular with the judges.
Lord Lloyd Webber said she was "really fantastic, a very, very strong contender" and when she found herself in the bottom two she was saved by The Lord after singing "Maybe This Time" from "Cabaret".
She shows a pain and vulnerability in her performance that dates back to when she was 11-years-old. Her parents told her they were getting divorced and it hit her hard.
"At that age the transition from primary to high school is traumatic enough without hearing my parents were splitting up as well" she said. "But I just took it in and dealt with it and grew up.
"My parents were happier apart, much better people, It is quite a strange thing to accept at that age because instantly you know that life as you knew it is over." Then you realise it happens, life is life and people are people.
"I think that might have been the making of me because all of a sudden the security at home vanished and I had to stand on my own two feet."
Hope remains close to both her parents, her mother Tracy is a bar manager and her father is a builder and they will both be at the theatre to see her play Dorothy.
She has been working hard since "Over the Rainbow" ended, having vocal coaching and dance lessons. On December 1st 2010 she performed at the World Aids Day Concert at Southwark Tube Station in London. She joined a group of students from London University who staged a non-stop 18-hour buskathon at the Underground station to raise money for HIV and the sexual health charity The Terence Higgins Trust.
Her only regret is that she has been parted from her boyfriend, fellow drama student Taylor Danson, who remains living in Manchester while she is in London. But she insists the relationship can withstand the pressures of her new career as a West End leading lady.
"Our relationship is quite solid at the moment and he's really excited for me," she said. "He's been absolutely amazing through the whole thing."