VIDEO: Broadway star Judine Somerville visits Wakefield performing arts pupils

Broadway paid a visit to Wakefield today, when musical theatre star Judine Somerville hosted a workshop for performing arts pupils.

Broadway actress Mrs Somerville has spent two weeks at Airedale Academy, Castleford, where she has offered motivational speeches and performing arts workshops to pupils and staff.

In partnership with Go Higher West Yorkshire, Mrs Somerville today paid a visit to Mechanics' Theatre School of Performing Arts, in Wakefield.

Speaking to students from across Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford, Mrs Somerville explained how hard work and enthusiasm had helped her achieve her goals.

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She said: "Education has the power to make you as strong as you want to be.

"You've got to figure out what you want to do and make it happen.

"Confidence is everything. Whether you're a car salesman or a teacher or a soccer mom, confidence is really important in how you become successful in your life.

"If you have a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life."

Mrs Somerville was born in the Bronx, one of New York City’s roughest neighbourhoods, and described her career and rise to Broadway as "magic".

She has appeared in five Broadway shows, including the original cast of Hairspray, and was once a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.

Airedale Academy Performing arts teacher Tracey Bell, who organised the actress' visit, first met Mrs Somerville last year, when the Broadway star hosted a workshop for Airedale pupils visiting New York.

Tracey said: “It was just a one hour workshop, but myself and Judine struck up a conversation and found out we had a lot in common and exchanged emails.

“Because theatre school is so expensive, we have to work really hard at Airedale to try and get our students scholarships.

“Judine’s been doing assemblies, and inspiring all the kids, right from Year 7 to Year 13.”

During her time in Castleford, Ms Somerville has given assemblies to pupils, offered staff briefings on engaging pupils, and even helped to choreograph the school’s production of Hairspray.