For the past 12 years Lori has toured the world performing on cruise ships and in pantomime – including in Jack and the Beanstalk in Scarborough and Sleeping Beauty in Bridlington – and it all started right here, writes Sue Wilkinson.
She is staging a show at the YMCA Theatre in St Thomas Street to put something back into the organisation that set her on her way.
“When I was eight I got into drama school but my parents said they could not afford for me to go to London. I joined the YMCA and it was the best thing that happened to me,” said Lori.
By the age of nine she was taking on the title role in the musical Annie on the YMCA stage and went on to perform in its sumer season shows and pantomimes.
“I learned so much and not just about performing – just about interaction with people and discipline. We would rehearse each Tuesday and Thursday from 8pm to 10pm and it was such a buzz,” she said.
“By the time I was 16 and auditioning professionally, it was not scary because I had done it before.”
The effervescent Lori was born and bred in Scarborough. Mum Angie has a barber’s in Scalby Road and dad Steve, a carpet fitter, was also a drummer in rock bands.
“My mum taught me to perform in terms of putting a hairbrush in my hand and standing me in front of a mirror. As far as singing goes – that’s down to my dad who is also my worst critic.”
As well as the YM, Lori, who went to Northstead and Scalby schools, was also a member of the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s young actors’ company Rounders and went to the Hatton School of Performing Arts.
She is in between cruise ship contracts and living at home – she has returned for her sister Neisha’s wedding next month.
With her boyfriend Uros Stojic, a rock guitarist from Serbia she met while working at sea, she performs at hotels in Scarborough. Each Sunday finds her at the Esplanade and she also gigs at the Red Lea and the Delmont.
An Evening with Lori Kellett and Guests is on at the YMCA Theatre, St Thomas Street, on Saturday July 9 at 7.30pm.
Joining Lori are Uros and her sisters Devan, cast manager for Carnival Cruises and a dance teacher, and Neisha, a teacher at Seamer and Irton Primary School.
The show also features Fleur Robinson. Lauren Exley and Exleys Dance Academy, SingwithDevan students, James Aconley, Chloe Wright, Kian Moore, Lewis Daws and Leo Rowell.
The show takes the shape of Lori’s journey from Annie to the present day. It will feature songs from Annie, Barnum, Jesus Christ superstar, the Greatest Showman and also pop hits.
"I want to create something awesome. I want people to come and watch the show and be impacted by how the YMCA helps young performers,” she said.
Tickets for An Evening with Lori Kellett and Guests are available in person from the box office, on 01723 506750 and online at https://ymcascarborough.uk