Laura Michelle Kelly

Laura Michelle Kelly (born 4 March 1981) is an English actress and singer who is best known for playing the role of Mary Poppins in the musical of the same name and originating the role of Sylvia in Finding Neverland.

Laura Michelle Kelly
Born4 March 1981 (age 38)
Totton, Hampshire, England, UK
Spouse(s)Nick Winston (2001-2008)
Sean Helleren (2019-present)

Early life

Kelly was born in Totton near Southampton, Hampshire, and moved to a farm on the Isle of Wight with her family,[1] her mother's birthplace and where her father and mother first met. She attended Newchurch Primary, Solent Middle and Sandown High.

Her first musical appearance was in Bugsy Malone in middle school.[1] She studied with a local singing teacher, Barbara Walters, who cast Kelly in amateur productions at local theatres,[2] including Shanklin Stagecoach of Performing Arts School.[1]


Musical theatre

Kelly's West End musical credits include Beauty and the Beast, Whistle Down The Wind as Swallow (2000) (with a 10-year-old Jessie J), Les Misérables as Eponine at the Palace Theatre (2001), Mamma Mia! as Sophie at the Prince Edward Theatre (2002), and My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (2003).[3] She made her Broadway debut in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof as Hodel (2004).

Mary Poppins premiered in September 2004 at the Bristol Hippodrome, followed in December by its opening in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre. For her role as the title character, Kelly earned rave reviews as well as the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[4] She left Mary Poppins on 29 October 2005 after more than 400 performances and was succeeded by Scarlett Strallen. Kelly then went to Singapore to star in a revival of A Twist of Fate in November 2005, produced by the Singapore Repertory Company. It also starred Anthony Drewe (who co-wrote the music with Singaporean composer Dick Lee).[5]

In 2006 she returned to the London stage performing in A Tribute to Dirty Dancing at Kenwood House and Marble Hill. Kelly and Michael Ball performed at the Hackney Empire on 1 August 2006 to celebrate Anthony Newley for BBC Radio Two which was broadcast on 29 September 2006. Kelly was the Special Guest for Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra on tour during December 2006. On 27 August 2007, Kelly made her BBC Proms debut, performing "The Prayer" from the film Quest for Camelot alongside Michael Ball.[6]

During 2007–08, Kelly played the role of Galadriel in the original London production of The Lord of the Rings – The Musical at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[7] The show began previews on 9 May 2007, with an official opening night of 19 June 2007. Kelly played her final performance on 2 February 2008, and was replaced by Abbie Osman.

She played the dual role of a nun and former Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs's trophy wife in an ITV1 production of Agatha Christie's Nemesis.[8]

Kelly appeared alongside Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in David Mamet's play Speed-the-Plow at London's Old Vic theatre[9] from 1 February to 26 April 2008 and at the Ruhrfestspiele in Recklinghausen, Germany, in May 2008.

Beginning 12 October 2009, Kelly reprised the role of Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway, replacing Scarlett Strallen.[10] Kelly temporarily left the cast of Mary Poppins on 6 March 2011, where she was replaced by originator Ashley Brown, to shoot a film. She returned to the production on 19 July 2011.[11][12] She played her final performance on 9 October 2011 and was replaced by Steffanie Leigh.[13]

Kelly and former London co-star Gavin Lee performed as Mary Poppins and Bert in the America Celebrates 4 July at Ford's Theatre in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on 6 June 2010. The special aired on 2 July 2010 on ABC.[14] Kelly once again reunited with Lee when he returned to the role of Bert in the Broadway production of Mary Poppins on 24 August 2010.[15]

Kelly starred as Anna Leonowens in a production of The King and I at the Muny from 6–12 August 2012.[16] She also starred as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the Muny production of South Pacific from 8–14 July 2013.[17]

She reprised the role of Eliza in a concert version of My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on 5 May 2013.[18]

On 2 June 2014, it was announced that Kelly would star as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the world premiere of the new musical, Finding Neverland, which played at the American Repertory Theater from July through September 2014.[19] She reprised the role in the Broadway production, which opened on 15 April 2015 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.[20] She stayed with the production until it closed on 21 August 2016.

In November 2016, Kelly began a North American tour starring as Anna Leonowens in The King and I.[21] She stayed with the show until 17 March 2018.

In 2018, she was announced as the lead in the Encores! production of Me and My Girl, alongside former Mary Poppins co-star Christian Borle.

She plays the role of Julie, one of the Cavendish family, in the musical The Royal Family of Broadway at the Barrington Stage Company (Massachusetts) in June 2018 to July 2018.[22]

Recording artist

Kelly released her debut single, "There Was A Time", through EMIs Angel label for download only on 17 April 2006. The single enjoyed Record of the Week status on BBC Radio 2. This single is from her debut solo album, The Storm Inside which was released on 1 May 2006. The album includes six original songs and six covers, including three songs which Kelly wrote herself and a cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know", which predated the Lily Allen cover and has a similar arrangement.

A new single, "What's It All For?" (written by singer Judie Tzuke) was released as a digital download on 5 March 2007. It was followed by the release of her album, also titled What's It All For?, with the three new tracks and a selection of others from The Storm Inside, which was released in 2006.


Kelly made her feature film debut in 2007 as Lucy Barker in the Tim Burton/DreamWorks film Sweeney Todd.[23]

Her first starring role was in the 2013 film Goddess, playing a mother of young twins in an isolated farmhouse in Tasmania, who finds unexpected fame when performances of her songs go viral on the Internet without the knowledge of her absent husband, played by Ronan Keating.

Personal life

In 2001 Kelly married choreographer Nick Winston.[24] They divorced after seven years of marriage.[25] In an interview Kelly stated that she would like to marry again; "I love being married because I believe in it, but not to the wrong person. Staying in love is the hard bit. I would love a family as well; I’ve always been broody." On 24 January, 2019, she married Sean Helleren in Maui, Hawaii.

She is the third of four children and the only girl. She comes from a Christian family. She and her siblings all have biblical names; her brothers' names are Paul, Nathanael and Jorim.[26] She has said that her faith is an important part of her life, and that she prays before every show.[27] When asked what three items she would take to a desert island, she said, "My Bible, iPhone and my guitar."[28]


Year Film Role Notes
2007 Agatha Christie's Marple: Nemesis Margaret Lumley/Verity Hunt TV film
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Lucy Barker/Beggar Woman
2013 Goddess Elspeth Dickens


  1. ^ a b c O'Brien, Jon. "Laura Michelle Kelly Biography". Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  2. ^ Paton, Maureen (9 February 2008). "The West End's hottest ticket ... actress Laura Michelle Kelly". Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  3. ^ My Fair Lady listing Archived 17 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 1 December 2009
  4. ^ "Olivier Awards, 2005". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  5. ^ "'A Twist of Fate' Production History". Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Prom 58". BBC Proms 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.
  7. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (15 December 2006). "Look who's Tolkien". Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
  8. ^ Paton, Maureen (9 February 2008). "News". Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
  9. ^ Letts, Quentin (15 February 2008). "Spacey and Goldblum let rip on Hollywood in 'Speed-The-Plow'". Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Christian Borle Joins Laura Michelle Kelly in Mary Poppins on Broadway". 28 September 2009.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (20 October 2012). "Ashley Brown, Broadway's Original Mary Poppins, to Return to New York Cast in March". Playbill. New York City: Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (19 July 2011). "Laura Michelle Kelly Returns to Broadway's 'Mary Poppins' July 19". Playbill. New York City: Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 15 September 2011.
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth (25 August 2011). "Steffanie Leigh Will Be Broadway's Next Mary Poppins". Playbill. New York City: Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Glover, Kelly, Van Dyke et al. Featured in 4 July Celebration to Air 7/2", 2 July 2010
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew (2 August 2011). "Gavin Lee Will Return to Broadway Cast of Mary Poppins". Playbill. New York City: Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013.
  16. ^ Blank, Matthew (9 August 2012). "PHOTO CALL: Laura Michelle Kelly and Kevin Gray Star in The King and I at The Muny". Playbill. New York City: Playbill, Inc. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Exclusive: Laura Michelle Kelly, Ben Davis, Loretta Ables Sayre & Josh Young to Lead SOUTH PACIFIC at the MUNY; Runs 7/8-14". BroadwayWorld. 23 May 2013.
  18. ^ My Fair Lady, With Gregory Jbara, Laura Michelle Kelly, Cloris Leachman, Jonathan Pryce, Max von Essen, Plays Kennedy Center May 5 Archived 6 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Breaking News: Jeremy Jordan and Laura Michelle Kelly to Lead FINDING NEVERLAND Cast; Plus Bart, Carmello & More – Full Cast and Creative Team Announced
  20. ^ Breaking News: Kelsey Grammer Joins Finding Neverland; Laura Michelle Kelly to Reprise Role on Broadway!, Broadway World, Retrieved 13 November 2014
  21. ^ Murphy, Linda (3 November 2016). "Review: The King and I wows audiences at PPAC". The Herald News.
  22. ^ The Royal Family of Broadway, retrieved 4 June 2018
  23. ^ "News". 28 February 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
  24. ^ Paton, Maureen (9 February 2008). "News". Daily Mail. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
  25. ^ "Q and A with West End and Broadway star Laura Michelle Kelly". Mail Online. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  26. ^ Paton, Maureen (9 February 2008). "The West End's hottest ticket ... actress Laura Michelle Kelly". Mail Online. London, England: Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  27. ^ Broadwaycom (3 February 2016). "Character Study: FINDING NEVERLAND's Laura Michelle Kelly Gets Ready Backstage". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Laura Michelle Kelly - Questions and Answers - Interview". Retrieved 5 March 2016.

External links

Christian Borle

Christian Dominique Borle (born October 1, 1973) is an American actor in theatre, television, and film. He is a two-time Tony Award winner for his roles as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher and as William Shakespeare in Something Rotten!. Borle originated the role of Emmett in Legally Blonde on Broadway, starred as Tom Levitt on the NBC musical-drama television series Smash, and starred as Marvin in the 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos.

Feinstein's/54 Below

Feinstein's/54 Below is a cabaret and restaurant in New York City owned by Broadway producers Steve Baruch, Richard Frankel, Marc Routh and Tom Viertel. It has hosted shows by such performers as Patti LuPone, Ben Vereen, Marilyn Maye and Barbara Cook. It is located in the basement of Studio 54.

Finding Neverland (film)

Finding Neverland is a 2004 historical fantasy drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by David Magee, based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. The film is about playwright J. M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. The film earned four nominations at the 77th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Johnny Depp, and won for Best Original Score. The film was the inspiration for the stage musical of the same name in 2012.

Finding Neverland (musical)

Finding Neverland is an original musical with music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie and a book by James Graham. Inspired by the 1998 play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee and his 2004 adaptation Finding Neverland, the musical made its world premiere at the Curve Theatre in Leicester in 2012, with the reworked version making its world premiere in 2014 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following completion of its Cambridge run, the production transferred to Broadway in March 2015.

After 17 months on Broadway, the production of Finding Neverland closed on August 21, 2016, and began a US national tour in October 2016.

Goddess (2013 film)

Goddess is a 2013 Australian romantic comedy musical film, directed by Mark Lamprell. The film stars singer Ronan Keating, Laura Michelle Kelly and Magda Szubanski.

I Could Have Danced All Night

"I Could Have Danced All Night" is a song from the musical My Fair Lady, with music written by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, published in 1956. The song is sung by the musical's heroine, Eliza Doolittle, expressing her exhilaration and excitement after an impromptu dance with her tutor, Henry Higgins - in the small hours of the morning. In a counterpoint during the second of 3 rounds, two maids and the housekeeper, Mrs. Pearce, urge Eliza to go to bed, but she ignores them.

It was first performed by Julie Andrews in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady. In the 1964 film adaptation of the musical, the song was sung by Marni Nixon, dubbing the singing voice of Audrey Hepburn, who played Eliza Doolittle. In 2004, Nixon's version finished at #17 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

Hit versions of the song were recorded by Sylvia Syms, Dinah Shore, Angélica María, Ben E. King as an ATCO single, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, and Jamie Cullum. It was featured in The Birdcage sung by Nathan Lane, Hank Azaria, Gene Hackman, Robin Williams and Dianne Wiest. Many actresses have also sung the song in the stage version of the musical including Martine McCutcheon, Laura Michelle Kelly, Amy Nuttall, Lisa O'Hare, and Lauren Ambrose.

Peggy Lee did a Cha-cha-cha version on her 1960 album Latin ala Lee!.

Andy Williams covered the song on his 1964 album The Great Songs from My Fair Lady and Other Broadway Hits. Shirley Bassey recorded and released this song on two 1965 albums, including "Shirley Stops The Shows" released in the UK, and 'Shirley Bassey Belts The Best' released in the USA. Petula Clark recorded a version for her 1968 album The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener.The song was performed by Jane Powell in the 1959 NBC television special Sunday Showcase "Give My Regards to Broadway", for which a kinescope recording still exists.

In 1976, Florence Henderson performed the song on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

The song was performed by Jayma Mays as her character Emma Pillsbury on the FOX television show Glee in the episode "Mash-Up".I Could Have Danced All Night was performed by young British soprano Hollie Steel during her audition on Britain's Got Talent. She later recorded the song on her debut album.Noted Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson recorded the song for the 1960 gala performance recording of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus on the Decca/London label. Herbert von Karajan conducted the recording of the operetta, but the conductor of this excerpt, as well as that of most of the other gala excerpts included, is not identified.

Joanne Black

Joanne Black (born 25 October 1974 in County Cavan, Ireland) is a stylist based in Los Angeles. A former model, she took part in beauty pageants, becoming Miss Limerick Photogenic, then Miss Ireland in 1995, at the age of 20. She represented Ireland at the Miss World event in Cape Town in November 1995. She also attended the Miss Europe event in Tirana, Albania, and the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas in 1996.

Lord of the Rings (musical)

The Lord of the Rings is the most prominent of several theatre adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic high fantasy novel of the same name, with music by A. R. Rahman, Christopher Nightingale and the band Värttinä, and book and lyrics by Matthew Warchus and Shaun McKenna.

Set in the world of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings tells the tale of a humble hobbit who is asked to play the hero and undertake a treacherous mission to destroy an evil, magic ring without being seduced by its power.

The show was first performed in 2006 and was expected to be revived for a world tour in 2015. With a £25 million budget, it is the most expensive production in West End theatre history.

Lucy Barker

Lucy Barker is a fictional character that appears in some versions of the story Sweeney Todd.

Mary Poppins (musical)

Mary Poppins is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (the Sherman Brothers) and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a script by Julian Fellowes. The musical is based on the similarly titled Mary Poppins children's books by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film, and is a fusion of various elements from the two, including songs from the film.

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Walt Disney Theatrical and directed by Richard Eyre with co-direction from Matthew Bourne who also acted as co-choreographer with Stephen Mear, the original West End production opened in December 2004 and won two Olivier Awards, one for Best Actress in a Musical and the other for Best Theatre Choreography. A Broadway production with a near-identical creative team opened in November 2006, with only minor changes from the West End version. It received seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical, and won for Best Scenic Design in a Musical. The original Broadway production closed in March 2013, after 2,619 performances. Touring productions followed.

The musical has become a popular choice for schools and community theatres to produce.

Me and My Girl

Me and My Girl is a musical with music by Noel Gay and its original book and lyrics by Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose. The musical is set in the late 1930s and tells the story of an unapologetically unrefined cockney gentleman named Bill Snibson, who learns that he is the 14th heir to the Earl of Hareford. The action is set in Hampshire, Mayfair, and Lambeth.

The musical had a successful original run in the West End in 1937, and was turned into a film in 1939, titled The Lambeth Walk, named after one of the show's songs. "The Lambeth Walk" was also the subject of a news story in The Times of October 1938: "While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances – to The Lambeth Walk." The show also included the song "The Sun Has Got His Hat On".

After returning to the West End briefly in 1952, the musical's book received a revision by Stephen Fry with Mike Ockrent in the 1980s. This revised version of Me and My Girl also included the song "Leaning on a Lamp-post". The show was revised again and revived in the West End in 1984, where it received two Laurence Olivier Awards and ran for eight years. The same production was revived on Broadway in 1986 for a three-year run. The show won three of 11 Tony Award nominations.

Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly may refer to

Michelle Kelly (skeleton racer) (born 1974), Canadian Olympic skeleton racer

Michelle Kelly (pentathlete) (born c. 1978), American pentathlete

Ragtime (musical)

Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. The music includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime.

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century: African Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia.

Historical figures including Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman are represented in the stories.

Scarlett Strallen

Scarlett Strallen (born 3 July 1982) is an English stage actress, best known for her work in musical theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway. She has received two Olivier Award nominations, in 2006 for her portrayal of Josephine in HMS Pinafore, performed at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and in 2012 for her role in Singin' in the Rain.

Sylvia Llewelyn Davies

Sylvia "Jocelyn" Llewelyn Davies (25 November 1866 – 27 August 1910), née Sylvia du Maurier, was the mother of the boys who were the inspiration for the stories of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. She was the daughter of cartoonist and writer George du Maurier and his wife Emma Wightwick, the elder sister to actor Gerald du Maurier, the aunt of novelists Angela and Daphne du Maurier and a great-granddaughter of Mary Anne Clarke, royal mistress of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany.

She met the young barrister Arthur Llewelyn Davies at a dinner party in 1889 and they became engaged shortly thereafter. She married him in 1892, and they had five children, all boys: George (1893–1915), Jack (1894–1959), Peter (1897–1960), Michael (1900–1921), and Nicholas (Nico) (1903–1980).

In 1898, Davies met Barrie at a dinner party, discovering he was already friends with her three sons from their regular visits to Kensington Gardens. She and Barrie became close (he adopted the pet name "Jocelyn" for her), with him spending considerable time at the Davies's home, and the family accompanying Barrie and his wife on holidays. She encouraged her boys' friendship with him.

Her husband died in 1907 of a sarcoma in his cheek. Davies welcomed Barrie's financial and emotional support, both for herself and for her boys. Following Barrie's divorce, he and Sylvia remained close, but did not marry. She became ill with an inoperable cancer in her chest, and died in 1910. Shortly before her death, she wrote that she wanted her boys' nurse Mary Hodgson to continue caring for them, and that she knew Barrie would continue providing for them, which he did. She named him, along with her mother Emma du Maurier, her brother Guy du Maurier, and Arthur's brother Crompton Llewelyn Davies as their guardians. Barrie told the boys after her death that she had been engaged to him, but Jack and Peter later expressed scepticism of this report.

Her son Peter was the publisher of her niece Daphne du Maurier's book about their grandfather, The Young George du Maurier, letters 1860–1867 (1951).

In the 1978 BBC mini-series The Lost Boys, she was portrayed by Ann Bell. She was played by Kate Winslet in the 2004 movie Finding Neverland, and was portrayed by Laura Michelle Kelly in the Broadway-musical adaptation of the same name, which ran until the 21st of August, 2016.



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