Lyn's seeking to thrill in Lowestoft

FROM touring the world as a singing sensation to treading the theatre boards across the country, a star name is set to make a welcome return to Suffolk next week.

FROM touring the world as a singing sensation to treading the theatre boards across the country, a star name is set to make a welcome return to Suffolk next week.

Having sung in front of the Queen and performed at President Nixon's inauguration in 1973 as one of the original members of former chart topping band New Seekers, Lyn Paul continues to shine on stage in the smash hit musical Blood Brothers.

And having been hailed as the 'undisputed Mrs Johnstone of all time' last December by fervent fans, local theatregoers are set for a top-class treat in Lowestoft next week as she performs in town for the first-ever time.

The Bill Kenwright inspired production of the international smash hit musical returns to the Marina Theatre once more after a successful run in town a few years ago.

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Taking on the highly acclaimed lead role of Mrs Johnstone is a familiar one for Lyn Paul. After breaking into stage musicals she first joined the West End production of Blood Brothers in 1997, where she starred for the next three years, before going on to play the role repeatedly on tour in the past 13 years.

And speaking exclusively to the Journal this week from Dartford - where the musical has been performing - Lyn Paul revealed she was looking forward to returning to Suffolk once more.

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'I remember my time in Suffolk very well as in 2007 (while performing the touring production of Footloose The Musical) we stayed with Roy Hudd and some friends,' she said.

'There is a lot of me and my life in this role and that is why I asked Bill Kenwright to be part of it all 13 years ago.'

Admitting she 'just loves the role,' she gave a hint of what people can expect to see next week.

'The story is such a great one,' she revealed. 'It has lots of laughs but is a tragedy as well - it's just a wonderfully written piece and the role I play as Mrs J is just a very well written piece that is ideal for me.'

Lyn's celebrated role has been considered by many Blood Brothers fans - many of whom tour the country despite having seen the performance more than ten times - as the 'quintessential Mrs Johnstone,' so how is that perceived for her?

'Well it is a fantastic accolade and I am very, very privileged to do it,' she told The Journal. 'I hope people come to see it and enjoy not only my performance but this wonderful show.'

Having topped the pop charts in January 1972 with I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) - made popular once more by the Coca Cola advertisement - this success led to the New Seekers being transported onto global success.

The band then came second in the Eurovision song contest before worldwide fame followed. But with this came problems and the group eventually disbanded in 1974.

'We had a wonderful time and did lots of things that people could only ever dream of doing,' Lyn recalled.

A solo career and cabaret performances then followed, before Lyn rekindled her love of acting - which has seen parts in Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors and Holby City on television along with acclaimed performances on stage in Blood Brothers, Taboo and Footloose.

'It is something I am really enjoying,' Lyn revealed.

The current tour of Blood Brothers ends on December 5, when Lyn will then return to her home in Spain for Christmas. But she is already looking forward to 'casting for television shows,' and she didn't rule out the possibility of returning to this celebrated role.

'I would always come back to perform as Mrs Johnstone,' she told The Journal. 'Bill Kenwright made me come back to do it again this year to help out and it is such a great show.'

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