The next actress for my Performer of the Week series is Amy Manford who I first saw as Christine Daae in August of 2018 and then four times since then before she left in September 2019. I ADORE Amy, she was one of my first West End Stage Faves!
As I said, I first saw Amy on my first trip to Phantom of the Opera back in August 2019 and absolutely fell in love with her and the show. She was the Alternate Christine which meant she only performed on Mondays and Fridays so I always chose to go on those dates! Amy has the most insane vocals yet they aren’t too harsh, they’re floaty and almost Disney Princess like. Amy’s version of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again has got to be one of my all-time favourite versions of the song. She sings it with so much passion and heart that it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with her Christine. Her portrayal has so much hope within songs like The Mirror and Wandering Child that when it all comes crashing down you just want to protect her and take her away from it all. Amy will forever be my favourite Christine, she was the first one I saw live and I give her credit for being the reason I’ve fallen in love with the show as much as I have.
The first time I saw Phantom of the Opera, I regretted not Stage Dooring but as I was so shy with all that back then and didn’t know how all it worked. But by October I was like yeah, I’m going to do this; whilst I was nervous I am so glad I did because Amy (and Kimberly Blake) was so nice at the stage door and had a conversation with me although I was probably the most awkward and shy person. Since then I stage doored each time I saw her, each time with her coming straight over with a big smile and hug. When I saw her in August 2019 I was close to sobbing because it was the last time I’d ever see her in this role. It has got to be one of my favourite Stage Door moments; she came straight over to me and my friend Jess and gave both of us a big hug, despite never having met Jess before; She said she had seen us sitting in the stalls watching the show and she had even noticed that I had gotten a haircut since last seeing her! It was just a really great stage door experience and I’ll never forget it! As you probably guessed Amy isn’t in the London production anymore, when she posted that she was leaving, like with Kimberly, I sobbed and then I sobbed again when her leaving day came, even though I wasn’t there. I cried because I was sad to see one of my favourite performers not be on the stage anymore…I still miss her being on the West End!
Amy trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she gained a scholarship called the Barbra Macleod Scholarship for Most Outstanding Classical Student. Amy’s main roles at TWAAPA include Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Amy also graduated from the Royal College of Music in London with a masters of performance in vocal performance with a distinction.
Amy has performed all over with world with the London Handel, London Cello and the Perth Symphony Orchestras and she even got to perform at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales!
Before Corona Amy was performing as Alternate Christine in the Greece non-replica production of Phantom in Athens alongside Ben Forster, Nadim Naaman and Lara Martins, it also featured Celinde Schoenmaker as Principal Christine!
Some roles I’d like to see Amy in are: Anya in Anastasia, Rapunzel in Tangled, Christine Daae in the Phantom sequel Love Never Dies and Ariel in The Little Mermaid…basically just cast her as a Disney Princess and I’ll be there!
Amy is such a sweet person and an incredible performer that it’s impossible not to like her! It’s for that reason that she’s this week’s Performer of the Week! I hope I get to see her dazzle on the West End again some day!