Pretty Woman's Amber Davies revelling in iconic Julia Roberts role as musical comes to Sunderland

Pretty Woman's Amber Davies
-Credit: (Image: Marc Brenner)

Just a few months ago, millions watched her get her skates on every single weekend on Dancing on Ice, but now Amber Davies has left the rink behind her as she revels in one of Hollywood and theatre's most iconic leading lady roles in Pretty Woman the Musical, which arrives at Sunderland Empire this week.

While she is best known to ITV viewers for her winning stint on Love Island back in 2017 and then Dancing on Ice at the start of the year, Amber is a trained performer and has been dazzling audiences in shows like Bring it On and 9 to 5 and, now she's touring the country in her biggest theatre role to date - Vivian, the character made famous by Oscar winner Julia Roberts, when Pretty Woman took the world by storm in 1990.

At its heart is the whirlwind romance between sex worker Vivian, who ends up falling for Edward, the man who hires her for a night, having seen his relationship come to an abrupt end. And now, over three decades later and after a Broadway launch starring Samantha Barks, the musical version of Pretty Woman is delighting audiences across the country, with Amber front and centre in the part that Julia made famous.

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The stage show doesn't feature songs synonymous with the film, like Roxette's It Must Have Been Love and Go West's King of Wishful Thinking, but it does boast some serious star power as it's score was created by music legend Bryan Adams, with stand out tracks including Anywhere But Here and Can't Go Back, both sang by Amber.

And, while some actors like to disregard the original and very much put their own spin on a role, Amber is more than happy to admit that she is using Julia as her inspiration and has aimed to do her proud with her version of Vivian, telling ChronicleLive: "Julia was so iconic in the movie and people love her Vivian so much, that it would feel wrong to me to changes things too much and I'm a huge fan. A lot of people are coming to see the show because they love the film so much and they want to see THAT Vivian."

From the moment she had her first fitting for her character's famous red gown to getting to join co-stars like former Strictly winner Ore Oduba every night on stage to sing songs penned by a rock icon, Amber is having the time of her life in Pretty Woman and, after a hectic and gruelling schedule at the start of the year, which saw her having to juggle performances with practising for Dancing on Ice, is happy to now being able to, use a Love Island phrase, 'put all her eggs in one basket' and concentrate purely on Pretty Woman.

Amber added: "It was a LOT doing Dancing at the Ice at the same time and having to get in training sessions wherever I could and it's a show that can take its toll on you. I had some tough times, but a few months on now, I can definitely look back and appreciate the experience and I learnt a new skill.

"Pretty Woman is such an amazing production to be part of - the amazing songs, the costumes, the set. I've loved every minute"

*Pretty Woman is on at Sunderland Empire until Saturday, June 1*