Taking part in this year’s John Lewis ad was such a big secret that Cork dancer Molly Ward didn’t even know herself until she showed up for filming.
“We had to go in groups of five in front and improvise dancing 60s style in front of a camera and casting director,” she said. “We didn’t know what it was for, they basically called it Project X.
“I hadn’t a clue until I went in on the filming day what I was about to film, it was was really exciting!” The retailer’s annual ad is always one of the highlights of the buildup to Christmas and 23-year-old Molly has found herself at the centre of attention thanks to an eye-catching appearance in this year’s video. She is seen dancing as the ad’s star Elton John plays piano and sings his hit ‘Your Song’.
Molly, who is originally from Mallow but now lives in London, was sworn to secrecy but couldn’t keep it from her biggest supporters.
“I secretly told my immediate family but really we weren’t supposed to tell anyone,” she told RedFM. “We had to sign a waiver to keep it under wraps as much as possible. We couldn’t give away the ideas in the ad or what is was about. Elton John was very much kept secret.” Molly didn’t get to meet the singing legend during rehearsals but has always been a fan of his music. She only saw the final ad along with everyone else when it was released yesterday and is thrilled to be so prominent.
“I am very shocked that I am even seen on it because it was a very big production, it is very exciting,” she said. “To be in it was a major highlight of my year, I am just delighted really.” Molly didn’t have long to rest on her laurels though, as she is home in Cork preparing for another role. Fans of the ad can see her in this year's Everyman panto, where she performs in the chorus.
Molly is used to performing in in her native county, having trained at the Cork School of Dance under Sinead Murphy.
“We are in the middle of rehearsals here with the choreographer, up to our eyes, ready for opening night,” she said.
The Everyman and Cada’s presentations of Cinderella opens on December 1 and runs until January 13.