My View, Mel Hewitt: Abby’s a real star in her West End debut

Abby Jackson, in nurse uniform, in Vampire Hospital Waiting Room
Abby Jackson, in nurse uniform, in Vampire Hospital Waiting Room

Doncaster has a great many things to shout about and be proud of.

There’s a history that has left us with a fine racecourse, rare Mansion House and a market that still attracts many visitors from beyond our borders.

There is much more – including the resilience and generosity of our townsfolk, who are constantly supporting the many charities that are special to us. Millions have been raised by the people here and have made a positive and lasting impression on the lives of thousands.

From war heroes to film stars, musicians to industrial pioneers , we have it all.

The wonderful thing is we continue to nurture people who make a difference, have unique talents and put Doncaster on the map.

I have had the joy of watching Doncaster girl Abby Jackson build on her talents and blossom in the creative world of drama over the last decade.

Now 23 and with a First Class MA from Edinburgh under her belt she is about to make her debut in the West End, in a show that has been a huge hit at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Abby – a former pupil at The Hayfield School – has worked her apprenticeship in many roles at school and in local theatres. She has played Annie, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar and sung at many special events and occasions.

It has been a pleasure to watch her mature and hone her craft, work as part of a team and let her wit and intelligence shine through.

Back to the present and the success and transfer to London of Vampire Hospital Waiting Room has been great.

Created by a group of Edinburgh students over the last two and a half years, this comedy ‘B’ musical in one act, features original songs including Love is like a car crash and Let’s put the Fun in Funeral. It started life as part of a workshop and is now ready to take over the Art Theatre West End in the heart of our capital from November 9.

Abby plays Sexy Nurse and shines in this tale of billionaires and vampires in the NHS. It’s great fun and a shining example of our fine tradition of satire, slapstick and the downright quirky.

Worlds away from the clamouring of some for instant and packaged overnight fame and celebrity Abby and her colleagues are a brilliant example of where hard work, imagination and creativity can take you.

When I was at Uni the College motto translated roughly as ‘Bereft is craft with no inborn gift’. Well, if it’s true, Abby – like many young and talented people across our borough – is a fine example of that gift finding the spotlight where it deserves to be.

More details about the show can be found at Vampire Hospital Waiting Room – see it if you can.