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Sarah cut her teeth in Dracula.

Byline: Andy Sloan

SARAH Lark - now the sole Welsh survivor in primetime TV talent show I'd Do Anything - has come a long way fromplaying Dracula's hapless victim in a Cardiff am-dram.

The Cardiff singer took a step closer to winning the dreamrole in Sir Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Oliver! last Saturday when her last Welsh rival, Swansea's Francesca Jackson, was voted off.

It is almost 10 years since Sarah played one of the leads in the Unknown Theatre Company's production of Dracula Spectacular.

Now her former co-star has tipped her to win the BBC1 talent showdown for Wales and has helped set up a campaign to win her the public vote.

Mark Johncock, 27, of Cathays, Cardiff, starred opposite Sarah as her saviour in the 1999 Dracula play. As Nick Narcissist and Nadia Naive (pictured) they made a dashing couple but, he told the Echo yesterday, it was obvious she would go on to greater things.

The 25-year-old dyed her hair for last Saturday's show to look more like Nancy and, in Mr Johncock's eyes, her latest transformation was a smart move.

"I thought Sarah looked great. I think it gave her that little bit more confidence and it was probably her best performance," he said.

Judges Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Barrow man and Denise van Outen agreed; and the public voted Sarah into this Saturday's fifth round.

Mark, now an announcer for the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, said: "Without sounding harsh on Francesca it was good for Sarah as she's now got the whole of Wales behind her.

"In terms of the other girls, some of them can challenge Sarah on the singing or the dancing but Sarah is the best all rounder. Even if she doesn't win it she will still do well.

You just have to look at the Joseph show last year. Quite a few of them have gone on into various West End shows.

"Her philosophy has always been to get out there, give it a go and what will be will be."

Mark and former mentor Jane Donoghue, who runs the Unknown Theatre company, have been campaigning on Sarah's behalf.

He said: "We've been handing out loads of flyers urging people to vote and have almost 2,000 people signed up to a Face book group. Sarah has people stopping her in the street in London and is grateful for all the support.

"I haven't been to see her yet because of work but my birthday's on May 17 so I'm working on tickets for the FA Cup Final and to see her perform as well would make for quite a day. I'm just hoping she makes it through to the final four." "

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STAR QUALITY: Sarah Lark and, inset, with Mark Johncock in Dracula
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 25, 2008
Words:465
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