Salford graduate returns to roots for Blood Brothers tour
Wednesday 15 May 2019
A UNIVERSITY of Salford graduate has returned to the Lowry to fulfil her acting dreams, starring in the legendary musical Blood Brothers.
When Amy-Jane Ollies walked on-stage at her graduation ceremony, in 2012, to collect her degree, she could not have imagined she would be reappearing, seven years later, to perform in a show that has seen over 10,000 West End performances since its conception.
Since securing her first agent at her BA Media and Performance end-of degree showcase, Amy has starred in a number of roles, appearing in the likes of Casualty and Hollyoaks. She has also been the Creative Director of theatre company 1956, writing and starring in a variety of innovative pieces.
For the last two years, though, Amy has been touring the UK with Bill Kenwright’s production of Blood Brothers, playing lead character Mickey’s sister, as well as being part of the ensemble and understudying for the key role of Mrs Lyons.
Amy said: “This has been an amazing experience. I cannot remember a time when acting wasn’t in the forefront of my mind, so to be in such a renowned show is a dream come true for me. The cast feel like one big family!
“Performing at the Palace Theatre was special because that is where I last saw Blood Brothers as an audience member, but returning to the Lowry felt indescribable! If I had known when I was graduating that I’d be back to perform at the Lyric theatre, I definitely would have felt better about leaving my student days behind.”
Blood Brothers is a multi-award-winning classic by Willy Russell, which tells the tale of two Liverpudlian twins separated at birth and living at different ends of the class-spectrum.
Amy, who has had a passion for acting since the age of nine, started university when she was 23. While she worked towards her first-class degree, she was an active member of the drama society, Almost Famous.
She said: “Performing in musicals at university played a vital part in increasing my confidence. I also loved my Media and Performance course, as at it allowed me to utilise rehearsal spaces and learn about a variety of performance aspects, like acting for TV. The course encouraged me to be creative, which definitely helped me to later produce my own work. I have a lot of fond memories from my time there.”
Amy was also able to make use of the University’s close proximity to Media City, where she worked as a runner on programmes like Match of the Day.
She added: “It can be hard, especially in your first year after leaving university, but my main piece of advice is to persevere; I can’t emphasise that enough. Treat acting like a business; do your research and prepare. It is so important to persist, even when things get difficult.”
Amy joins a long list of successful Salford Performance graduates, which include the likes of Christopher Eccleston; Jason Manford; Car Share duo Peter Kay and Sian Gibson; Emmerdale star Liam Fox; and Rudi Dharmalingham, who has appeared in stage-shows such as Mary Stuart, as well as BBC Drama The Split.
The Blood Brothers cast are set to perform at Southsea, before finishing the tour in Leeds.