AN actress is 'bowled over' to have a lead role in a theatre production that is part of a performing arts festival.

Mum-of-one Rachel Voldman, from Leigh, has been cast as Ellen in Rhonwen McCormack’s comedy play Why Does Everybody Want to Move to Australia? at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale next Friday, July 7.

Performed from 7.30pm, it is part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.

Rachel, 43, said: “I am really looking forward to the play and bowled over to get a part.

“There is a really good theatre and art scene in Greater Manchester and it is great to be involved in it.

“It is a really exciting time for the city region."

The play focuses on people who dream of moving to Australia but discover the reality is far different from the fantasy, with their experiences screened on a reality TV show.

Rachel's character Ellen is content with life in the UK but her struggling self-employed husband battles to convince her to move down under with him.

“The play addresses the issue of escaping from the status quo and seeing what people’s expectations of emigrating are like and whether the grass is greener on the other side," Rachel said.

“It also focuses on the nature of reality television in a light-hearted way with the type of programmes which are produced to show life-changing situations."

Rachel, a former pupil of St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School in Lowton, did not start acting until her 30s.

She went to Massachusetts in America for two years, working at theatres and in advertisements, before returning to the UK in 2007 to study at East 15 Acting School in London.

Rachel, who has been married to conductor and répétiteur Philip Voldman for six years, with whom she has a two-year-old son called Gabriel, has since performed in a range of theatre and voice-over roles.

“I had done a range of jobs after studying English literature at the University of Edinburgh, such as an English foreign language teacher in Madrid and working in IT in London, but I realised in my heart of hearts I wanted to be an actress and I am glad I have gone on to achieve that later in life.

“One of my goals is to eventually have a production company of my own.”

Tickets for Why Does Everybody Want to Move to Australia? are £5, with the concessions price being £4.

To buy tickets visit