Growing up in Laxey on the Isle of Man, Barks attended numerous stage schools as a child, before attending Arts Educational School for her A Levels. At the age of 18, Barks was a contestant on BBC’s I’d Do Anything in 2008, a reality competition that searched for an actress to play Nancy in Oliver. During the competition, Barks sang musical theatre numbers including “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt.
Two years after the competition, Barks was cast as Eponine in Les Miserables, playing the role for 12 months. During her run, she also starred in the musical’s 25th anniversary concert at the O2 Arena, before going on to eventually play Nancy in the UK tour of Oliver.
While on tour, Cameron Mackintosh announced that Barks was to reprise her performance as Eponine in the film adaptation of Les Miserables, starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Helena Bonham Carter. Her rendition of “On My Own” reached number 43; Barks’ first time on the British music charts.
Her notable London theatre credits include City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014, playing the role of Mallory/Avril and Cathy in The Last Five Years at the St. James Theatre (now The Other Palace).
She’s also found success in America, making her Stateside debut as Velma Kelly in Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl, later playing the title character in Amelie at California’s Berkeley Repertory Theatre. However, she’s best known in the United States for originating the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman: The Musical. Barks played the role at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, before reprising her role, and making her Broadway debut in the production in July 2018.
Barks returned to the West End as Elsa in the premiere of Disney's Frozen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
1 August 2022 - 2 August 2022