A SINGING star will be returning to the district where she grew up to perform a concert at a village church.
Joni Talks, fresh from London's music hall scene, will be presenting an evening of songs from popular shows in Meerbrook this weekend.
Joni grew up in Leek and attended Westwood High School. She said: "It was performing in the school shows where I think I really got the bug for musical theatre.
"From the age of seven I attended The Marilyn Jones Dance Centre gaining a strong foundation in all aspects of performance.
"I moved to London at 18 when I received a full scholarship to train at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating with Honours."
Joni continued her training at RADA, taking part in its Musical Theatre courses, and also had the opportunity to work with one of the American composers of the moment, Jason Robert Brown.
Joni said: "I've now been performing professionally for eight years, and have been very fortunate in the diversity of work I have been involved with. From Shakespeare to Music Hall legend Marie Lloyd, with a little bit of rock and pop thrown in between.
"A life changing opportunity came when I auditioned to play Belle in a new musical adaptation of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.
"This was a six month tour of Italy performing in some of the most stunning theatres I have ever seen.
"Not only did I have a fantastic time working on the show, but it was also a wonderful opportunity to explore a beautiful country.
"Upon my return from Italy I became a part of the theatre company at The Brick Lane Music Hall, London, taking the leading lady role in their shows and the responsibility of Dance Captain."
Joni has appeared on BBC's The One Show as part of their Children In Need appeal and Inside Out as part of the Brick Lane cast.
Since the start of its Autumn season in 2012, Joni has been involved with devising and writing the shows.
Joni's concert this weekend will be at St Matthew's Church at 7.30pm on Saturday, October 19, and is set to include numbers from shows such as: Phantom of the Opera, Tell Me On A Sunday, Tick Tick Boom, The Wild Party, Mack & Mabel, West Side Story, The King and I, Les Miserables, Wicked, Chicago, Follies, and many more.
Admission will be £5 on the door.