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Power worker takes to the stage

Sammy-Jo set for starring role in Evita musical at Chelmsford theatre

From Press releases - 12 September 2019 12:00 AM

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By day, Sammy-Jo Evans is an electrical fitter donning protective clothing to work quickly and safely to keep the power running at Stansted Airport.

By night, the 21-year-old has a very different guise, dressing up to the nines to rehearse the leading role Eva in a glamorous new production of Evita playing at the Chelmsford Civic Theatre from September 24.

The contrast between the electrical day job and the nightly singing gig was quite a shock to her fellow cast of the Chelmsford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CAODS) show, but Sammy-Jo is delighted to be able to do both as she enjoys them equally. She also sings in a band and has appeared on television show The Voice in 2016.

After joining UK Power Networks Services as an apprentice, Sammy-Jo is now a fitter for the company. The end of her 8am-4pm shift allows her to then dive into her musical theatre work.

Sammy-Jo said: “I’ve done theatre from the age of three, but had to give that up when I started this job full-time. I found the local theatre group in Chelmsford and saw they were putting on My Fair Lady. I really like that production so auditioned and got a place as one of the dancers back in February.

“The group is a lovely bunch of people and I’ve made a lot of friends there, it’s been amazing. I go three times a week now.

“When it was decided to do Evita I auditioned again and this time got the top role of Eva. It was amazing news to get that and I’ve been rehearsing since May and I’ve got tickets sorted for my friends and family and a number of my work colleagues from Stansted Airport are going.

“I’ve also got a rock and roll band called Sammy-Jo and the Red Flames who do gigs around the country. I also do solo gigs as a country singer, I just love singing.

“It’s been hard to keep up with everything there’s so much going on so it can be very difficult to balance it all. It’s a lot when you start doing the shows as well, but I’m really excited for Evita starting.

“I still have aspirations to one day do singing as a career, the music is going really well and we’re looking to record some new tracks. With musical theatre it may be too late for me, unless there is an open audition, you need to have done professional training in terms of reaching the West End.

“I’m still enjoying the work I do at Stansted, I love it, I’m working on building further skills at the moment which would give me a bit more responsibility than just being a fitter. I love it here and it’s rewarding when you get the job done well.

“When I first told other people at the theatre company about my day job everyone was pretty shocked. I’m quite girly really, but obviously the guys I work with see me in polo shirts and chinos with no make-up. For the show I’m obviously dressed up very differently.

“I do what I can to promote women in engineering and I’ve always felt it was the right decision to pursue this career. I owned my first property at 19, it was the best move I ever made to do an apprenticeship which enabled me to earn and learn.

“Work experience like that is amazing, better than university in my view, and I’d recommend it to anyone. I’ve got a good job which I can combine with doing musical theatre so I’ve the best of both worlds.”