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Margaret a class act, thanks to her pupil

By Eddie McIlwaine

Soprano Margaret Keys, the young woman from Londonderry who will star in London's West End this summer, is in demand around the world with her dreamy voice and good looks.

But if it hadn't been for a little girl in a class of St Eithne's Primary School in Margaret's native city where she was teaching, she might still be taking class.

"I was singing part-time and teaching for a living when this young one told me Andrew Lloyd-Webber was looking for a girl singer for one of his musicals and that I should apply," she said, "and that I should be a professional artist and give up teaching."

Margaret, who has a first-class Masters degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Music and Drama, didn't go for the Andrew Lloyd-Webber job, but the advice of the wise child in her classroom started her thinking.

"I took the plunge soon after listening to her and I've no regrets," says Margaret. "She is now 16 and I'm so grateful for the way she pointed me in the right direction." Margaret opens in that West End show in June.

It's called Sunday Night at the Musicals in St James Theatre (the title will remind many of us of Bruce Forsyth's Sunday Night at the London Palladium) before going on tour across Europe and America with the classical group G4.

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