WE take a look back to 2004 when this article on a fresh-faced former Hermitage Academy pupil first appeared in the Advertiser...


A HELENSBURGH dancer has bagged one of the principal roles in popular stage show Fame: The Musical.

Lisa Richie, 23, was chosen from 5,000 hopefuls who auditioned and will be playing the role of lead ballerina Iris Kelly during the show’s year-long UK tour.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil, who left school at 16 to train at the Royal Ballet School in London for three years, says she’s having the time of her life in Fame.

“It’s absolutely a dream come true,” said Lisa. “The crowd get up at the end and cheer you on, and we end up dancing on top of a yellow taxi at the end.

“I get to do ballet, jazz, acting, everything so for me it’s ideal.”

READ MORE: From the archives... MoD declared war in 2004 - on Faslane midges

The cast began rehearsing five weeks ago and the show started in Manchester on Friday August 20.

Set in New York’s High School for the Performing Arts, Fame traces the journeys of a group of eager and talented students from their first audition through to graduation.

Lisa, who lived in Sinclair Street, began dancing at the age of just two and a half at Miss Stewart’s dancing school in Helensburgh and a career on the stage soon beckoned.

After graduating from the Royal Ballet School, she worked for a year in Ireland before going to broaden her skills at the Laine Theatre Arts in London for a year.

Since then she has appeared in ballets and musicals in Britain and Ireland, most recently the UK tour of Carousel.

“I always wanted to do this,” she said.

READ MORE: From the archives... 'Wicked' Burgh actress Jennifer landed London role in 2009

“I was always in school shows, the shows were Joseph and Annie when I was there. I almost can’t believe I’m getting paid to do it.

“On the opening night of Fame it was a full house of 2,000 people watching us - it’s wonderful.”

However, Lisa says that despite the bright lights of showbusiness she’ll always be a local girl at heart.

“I do miss Helensburgh, especially now that my family have moved to Glasgow as I can’t come back as often,” she confessed.

“As much as I love London and how busy it is, Helensburgh will always be my home.”

Fame comes to the Kings Theatre in Glasgow on September 6.