Why Amber just can’t wait to get on that Peterborough stage
She might have come to the public’s attention through reality TV but Amber Davies’ background is in performing - and she can’t wait to get back on stage.
Luckily for Peterborough audiences she won’t have long to wait, as she stars as “cheer royalty” Campbell in the new production of Bring It On The Musical which opens at New Theatre next Friday (November 26) before transferring to a London theatre.
Based on the film Bring It On, this stage show follows the trials and tribulations of the newly crowned Squad Captain who’s forced to move to the neighbouring hard-knock Jackson High.
Campbell fears her life is over but an unlikely friendship (with Cameron played by Louis Smith) catapults her back into contention with a powerhouse squad and the fire to achieve the impossible...
“I am absolutely itching to get on that stage,” said an excited Amber when we met up (via Zoom) as she was preparing to go into rehearsals.
“I have missed it so much. It gives me such a good feeling being on stage and I have missed it. I have missed interacting with cast members, missed meeting people at the stage door.... it has been awful.
“You can see it in an audience’s eyes when they are having fun and enjoying themselves and I can’t wait for that moment when I see people’s faces light up again.”
Amber’s big break came four years ago when she won TV’s Love Island reality show, something she has no regrets about taking part in.
“Simply because I went on Love Island doesn’t mean I am not talented,” she points out. “It does not define me as a person. “It is a choice I once made and I am so grateful because the whole reality world is so different.
“When I was in it, I missed being on stage, I wasn’t fulfilled . I thought something was missing in my life. And then, as I stepped back on stage, I thought this is it, this is what I want to do now and this is the way I want my career to go.
“It has given me a huge platform and I am so grateful for it and I can use it for good.”
And she is happy that the whole reality star tag hasn’t held her back. “I kind of like having something to prove. It gives me more motivation and more energy,” says Amber, who after Love Island did an 18 months stint as Judy Bernly in 9 To 5 The Musical after joining the West End production.
“I can guarantee some people will come to see the show because they want to see ‘how good is that girl going to be from Love Island?’ And I want to surprise them and they will say she is really talented.”
And they will see the talent comes from years of practice and dedication, not a byproduct of a TV show.
“ I dedicated my whole life to the industry from a young age,” says Amber. “I did not have a normal childhood. I was in ballet lessons, acting lessons, singing lessons, after school every day and I moved to London at 16. “My parents sacrificed so much for me to go at 16, so it is not like I fell into the industry after I won Love Island. It is ingrained in me.”
So what is it about Bring It On that appeals to her?
“I feel when I think about my high school experience, the teenage girls, the bitching and the arguments, it is a bit nostalgic. It is real life,” she says.
“It is also about friendships and the true meaning and what is important in life. You can win what you like but if you have no friends you have no one to celebrate it with. There is a strong, lovely message within the show.”
It is not just about the story of course, there is a great musical score and it is packed with incredible dance action.
“I said ‘I want to be involved, I don’t want you to throw anyone else’,” she says of the cheerleading choreography. “If the character should be thrown up in the air, I want to be thrown up in the air.
“I want to throw myself into this and embed the character so much. do not want to have a double doing all the tricks for me. I want to do it.
“So the audience might be watching me fall over,” she adds with a smile.
“We have all been locked up for so long, so the audiences are in for a feel good show that is going to leave them feeling like they have had three coffees!
“The cast are a talented group of people and coming to see the show is going to be an absolute fabulous evening. Every one of your emotions will have been touched.”
You can see Bring It On The Musical at New Theatre from Friday, November 26 to December 4. Tickets are available from: www.newtheatre-peterborough.com
Read the interview with co-star Louis Smith