Falkirk teen to make Edinburgh Fringe debut in Les Miserables

Katie Laird (right) is looking forward to taking her Edinburgh Fringe Festival bow
Katie Laird (right) is looking forward to taking her Edinburgh Fringe Festival bow

A talented teenager has been selected to star in Les Misérables at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Katie Laird (18), from Falkirk, was awarded the role of Madame Thenardier in Captivate Theatre’s production of the hit musical following three rounds of nerve-wracking auditions.

Having already performed the show during a sell-out run at Musselburgh’s Brunton Theatre in March, Katie is now looking forward to her first appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

She said: “I really wanted the role of Madame Thernardier and was delighted to get it.

“She’s very funny and brings a bit of light to the situation amidst all the death and sadness we see in the show.

“I enjoyed playing her at the Brunton and it’s amazing to have the chance to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, although it’s also quite daunting.”

Katie, a pupil at Beaconhurst School in Bridge of Allan, only took up musical theatre last year when she played a navigation officer in a school performance of Return to the Forbidden Planet at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling.

Since then, she has starred as the lead female character in Romeo and Juliet in the Schools Shakespeare Festival, joined the Falkirk Operatic Society and appeared in the Macrobert Arts Centre pantomime Chick Whittington.

She also has a leading role as Anita in this year’s school production of West Side Story and will begin a full-time course in musical theatre in September.

Katie continued: “I started out by taking part in the school show last year, thoroughly enjoyed it and realised I really liked performing.

“I’ve also been doing singing lessons which got me more involved and then I started to audition for parts outwith school.

“I’m looking forward to appearing as Anita in West Side Story which is a great musical with a lot of energy and I like the feisty character I get to play.”

Katie will perform alongside her friend Rachel Hoskins (18), who has the lead role of Anita in West Side Story and is also in the chorus of the Les Misérables Fringe show.

Alison Marshall, Beaconhurst’s director of expressive arts, said: “Katie and Rachel have done so well.

“For them to be appearing in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe is just fabulous.”

Les Misérables will be performed by a cast of 15 to 18-year-olds.

The show will take place at the Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre in Edinburgh from August 17-26.