Former KCC pupil appears in Netflix phenomenon

Many people have been raving about Netflix's new period drama Bridgerton, but for one South Hams resident it was even more exciting. 

Lucy (right) on screen in Bridgerton with Jonathan Bailey (left) as Anthony Bridgerton and Ruth Gemmell (centre) as Lady Violet Bridgerton

This week I settled down to watch the new Netflix series, in pyjamas and too full of leftovers to move much, and then I spotted a familiar face. 

Having written the reviews for KATS (Kingsbridge Amateur Theatrical Society) and Kingsbridge Community College productions, I had become familiar with Lucy Booker and it was her that I had spotted in the background of one of the biggest series of the year. 

Lucy on stage with Anthony Chamberlain in KATS' production of Fiddler on the Roof

Lucy, 20, lives in South Milton, and goes by her stage name of Lucy Anna Richardson. Knowing she wanted to be an actor since before she could walk, at one point she was performing in three local productions at once, with KATS, MAD (Malborough Amateur Dramatics) and KCC. 

During her time at KCC, Lucy took LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams, music exams and basically filled all her life and spare time with acting. 

In her final year, Lucy started to think about what she wanted to do when she left school. She said: "Drama school was definitely an option, but I wanted to get some experience first and I know a lot of people have succeeded without going to drama school so I decided to sign up to as many different agencies as I could."

Lucy on screen in Bridgerton


This turned out to yield results, as in May 2019, as she was finishing her A-Levels, she received a call to attend a fitting for 'Untitled Project'. 

Lucy said: "I went to my prom, I went to the after-party, and then my mum picked me up at 3am and drove me straight to London for my first fitting for Bridgerton. I tried on four dresses that day, and I had to apologise to the costume designer because I still had my fake eyelashes on and my nails all painted!"

I went to my prom, I went to the after-party, and then my mum picked me up at 3am and drove me straight to London for my first fitting for Bridgerton

She explained that the costume designer, who had also worked on The Greatest Showman, was "amazing". "Everything is handmade, I got to wear beautiful handmade corsets, everyone had their dresses fitted to them." Sadly she wasn't allowed to keep any of her costumes, "I did keep a dance card or two though!" she laughed.

Sadly she wasn't allowed to keep any of her costumes, "I did keep a dance card or two though!" she laughed

A month after that fitting, she was on set.

Lucy on the set of Bridgerton

Lucy and the rest of the cast and crew then spent six months shooting on location in Bath and at stunning country estates and places like Hampton Court Palace and Somerset House. "It was great because we were in all the places that the public weren't allowed in."

Since Bridgerton is set in Regency London, following high society's Ton during the season when debutantes are presented at court, all the action occurs in the summer, so there was a period of time when Lucy was filming a summer garden party in Gloucestershire, in December. 

"There were long hours", said Lucy describing being on set, "there were 3am and 4am calls because I was in hair and makeup for two hours. Your body clock does weird things when you're having breakfast in a corset at five in the morning! 

Your body clock does weird things when you're having breakfast in a corset at five in the morning!

Lucy in hair and makeup for Bridgerton


"Then there were some night shoots so we're having breakfast at 4pm and everyone goes a bit mad. All the cast and crew were playing charades and it was freezing. Everyone became like family. 

"After nine months we did some studio work and the sets were amazing. I've never seen anything like it. It was nice because after months of moving around we were all together in one place. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming. Watching it now brings back so many lovely memories."

Lucy thinks her productions with KATS and MAD helped give her a foundation for the industry. 

KATS and MAD made me who I am today

"KATS and MAD made me who I am today", Lucy said. "Doing three productions at once, as well as all my school work, so I was working really hard. 

"I like to do my research about the characters I play, so having to look at different characters and time periods, it meant I could put that all into practice later. 

"I started performing with them when I was about 10-years-old and it gave me such a confidence boost, and that lasted all the way up until I was 18. KATS and MAD helped me grow as a person. I was able to learn how to cope with practising as well as getting on with people, how talk to people and make friends. They really shaped me as a person."

It gave me such a confidence boost, and that lasted all the way up until I was 18, KATS and MAD helped me grow as a person

Lucy on the set of Bridgerton 


Lucy said that acting was always what she wanted to do. 

"From the age of four or five-years-old, I was always influenced by films with a strong female lead. It wasn't enough for me to watch the films, I had to learn the choreography and perform them alongside the TV. They shaped me. 

"I loved Mary Poppins when I was little, my mum made me a costume and everything. She was my Disney Princess, so Julie Andrews is my all time inspiration. When I found out she was narrating Bridgerton it was so exciting! It was like I’d come full circle!"

Julie Andrews is my all time inspiration, so when I found out she was narrating Bridgerton it was so exciting! It was like I’d come full circle!

Lucy Anna Richardson

Lucy has four projects on the go at the moment, though sadly she couldn't let me in on any secrets. She did say she had finished filming for ITV last month and two more Netflix projects are due for release next year. 

"I'm just trying to stay positive", Lucy said, "I'm so lucky to have such a great family and friends supporting me and I'm so lucky to still be getting jobs. 

"Its been a hard year for everyone and I'm just trying to take any opportunity I can. Even if its just an Instagram photo shoot, anything to get out there.

"I keep telling myself - it's when it happens, not if."

I keep telling myself - it's when it happens, not if

We wish her all the luck in the world. 

Lucy isn't the only recent KCC and KATS alumnus to be headed for the stars, read all about Joe Tapper here

***

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  2. The previous year has been one strange without a doubt. Furthermore, for understudies, life has been everything except typical. With best assignment help and showing moved on the web, bygone times of wandering the school/college hallways and finding your mates in the middle of classes appears to be ancient history. However, dread not. In case you're feeling the loss of the understudy life flows, you can get your fix directly from the solace of your own home. Simply sit back, turn on the TV and head to Netflix.

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