LIFE has been non-stop for dancer Megan Louch after she swapped Wickersley for the West End — and this week she’s back in town starring in her most challenging role yet.
Megan (28) is part of the new stage show Club Tropicana the Musical, playing a key role on and off stage.
“I’m the swing and dance captain and so I’m working with the choreographer to look after and maintain the choreography that’s been set,” said Megan.
As well as performing throughout the two-hour show, Megan’s role requires her to study on-the-spot, and post-show, aspects that might have gone wrong or didn’t work well.
The former Wickersley Comprehensive student is also leading the warm-ups throughout the eight-month tour and trains the understudies.
“It’s up to me to know the entire show basically,” said Megan. “It’s good though, I like a challenge.
“I’ve worked with the choreographer Nick Winston before — this is my fourth show with him so I feel like I know his style and way of working.”
Megan said it was her most demanding role to date as being a “swing” means she has to learn all the different female ensemble parts and could be required to “jump in and out” of the roles at any point.
“It is a dream role for me,” she said. “I’ve always been more of a dancer.
“A dance captain, for me, was the role I wanted rather than specific parts, that’s the route I’ve always wanted to go down.”
Being part of the premiere cast in a new show was “exciting”, said Megan, but it can throw up many challenges.
“It can be quite tricky in rehearsals — going into an already established show you get told what to do and what the choreography is and these are the songs, but with a brand-new show things can change all the time,” said Megan, whose dance career began aged five at Gillian Banks Theatre School in Maltby.
“When we opened in Bromley in January we were putting new songs and routines in that we had just learnt that day, or taking things out.
“It’s fun that way as you get to help create something new.”
Despite being a ‘90s child, Megan is loving being part of the show’s ‘80s nostalgia trip.
“Even though I just made it into the 90s I still know all the songs — everybody knows them,” she said.
“It’s been so well received with so many people saying what a good time they’ve had, and in the current climate that’s what people want — a good night out, some nostalgia and to have a laugh with their mates.”
Since graduating from London’s Laine Theatre Arts in 2012, Megan has toured non-stop with Mamma Mia, Guys and Dolls, Dirty Dancing and Annie, starring Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.
“I’m based everywhere — I’ve got stuff at my mum’s in Bramley, I rent my house out in Wickersley and my dad is in Surrey, which is nearer to London and handy for me,” she said.
Megan also recently worked alongside Dawn French in the London Palladium’s all-star pantomime Snow White. “That was so much fun,” she said.
“It’s just been nominated for an Olivier Award, so it’s the first show I’ve worked on that’s been nominated for one.”
Mum Lynne will be watching Megan perform tonight but the former Northfield Primary pupil admits she is more nervous about her former teacher, Gillian, being in tomorrow’s audience.
But her friends and family might have trouble spotting her at first as she has swapped her usual long, blonde mane for a Jane Fonda-inspired short bob and a “sporty” look (below) — something which took a while for her to get used to.