A Doncaster school boy is set to pick a pocket or two as he heads to London to make his West End theatre debut.
Teenager Sam O’Sullivan is joining the cast of theatre classic Oliver! in a new revival of the much-loved show.
Sam, 14, will star as the light-fingered Charlie Bates – sidekick to the Artful Dodger – in the show which kicks off in Covent Garden on March 29.
The McAuley School pupil said: “I love the world of acting, drama and musical theatre and this thrilling opportunity is an unforgettable chance to appear in a London production.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have great experiences so far, and can’t wait for more.”
The Endellion Theatre Company production runs from March 29 to April 2 in the atmospheric setting of the historic St Giles-in-the-Fields, in Covent Garden.
Some of the country’s finest actors and singers - accompanied my musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music - will be appearing in the fresh production of the Lionel Bart smash West End, Broadway and movie favourite when it comes to London this Easter.
Director Jonathan Walker-Kane said: “The historic setting of St Giles in the Fields will make a perfect backdrop for this much loved musical, presented in a way audiences will never have seen it before.
“The intention is very much to capture the atmosphere of early 19th century London in this remarkable space, with an outstanding cast and full orchestra making this a powerful retelling of one of the most famous stories ever written.”
Year 9 student Sam, who is also a junior librarian at school and is busily practising for his Grade 2 violin exam later this term, added: “I’ve been highly praised by all I’ve worked with for my enthusiasm and performances.
“I also have a great memory which is fantastic when it comes to learning scripts. I can’t wait to be part of this new Oliver! production!”
He has attended various local drama academies since the age of seven and has taken on a number of roles including Zazu in The Lion King, the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and Edgar the evil butler in Disney’s Aristocats.
He has also previously performed as a member of Fagin’s Gang in a Phoenix Theatre production at Doncaster’s Civic Theatre and has starred in the Doncaster Little Theatre’s pantomime for the last two years.
Added Sam: “I am over the moon to have landed the role.
“My ambition is to be an actor when I am older and work in the West End – and it’s actually happening now! There is a brilliant line up of talented actors in the production and I’m especially looking forward to playing alongside the dastardly villains Fagin and Bill Sykes. If you read this please come and see the show - I tell you it is certainly bound to be spectacular.”
Mum Bev said: “We are so pleased for Sam, he absolutely adores anything to do with musical theatre, from reading books such as Wicked and Les Miserables to theatre visits in the West End.
“His little sister and brother are often forced to watch old black and white musicals and listen to show soundtracks in the car!
“We are biased of course but he is a very talented actor and has an amazing capacity to learn lines, quite often learning scripts for more than one show at a time, so we’re really happy that he has been chosen to appear in this wonderful London production. He makes us all very proud indeed.”