Ballroom dancer Alice Rooney seduces Jack Wood, a local boy from a good Tyneside family. With a little one on the way, Jack is forced into a shotgun marriage. He vows to protect his baby daughter, but his marriage is volatile from the start. Damaged by her own dysfunctional childhood, Alice shows not a scrap of affection towards little Lizzie. As Alice feels more trapped and unhappy, Lizzie becomes the focus of her frustration and anger. Lizzie's saving grace is her loving grandmother, Mrs. Wood, who does her best to improve life for her whenever she can. When Jack is drafted in to the Air Force at the start of WWII, Lizzie is left alone with her unstable mother and life becomes almost unbearable. It's only when Mrs. Wood steps in and introduce Lizzie to the Madame Bella's Academy for the theatrical arts that Lizzie blossoms. Though still very young and innocent, will Lizzie fulfill her dream to escape her mother's clutches and leave Newcastle behind to pursue a glittering theatrical future? And will she be safe, if she does?