A young member of the Stagecoach family has recently made his West End stage debut in one of the world’s biggest stage productions.
Henry, of Battersea, London, is currently treading the boards in the acclaimed play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, staged at London’s Palace Theatre, in Cambridge Circus. The multi award-winning, two-part play, is set nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
. Henry, 11, is performing in front of sell-out crowds at the prestigious theatre until July.
Although the opportunity, which came through the Stagecoach Talent Agency, is the first for Henry in a professional production, he has built up a huge amount of stage experience thanks to his time with Stagecoach Performing Arts. He joined Stagecoach Battersea in 2015 and performed in the school’s Regional Wimbledon Event 2016 as well as excelling in numerous roles in end of term presentations including as Billy, in Billy Elliot, and Nicely Nicely Johnson, in Guys and Dolls.
We interviewed Henry for our Young Performer magazine and here's what he had to say about the exciting role:
Q. What’s the best thing about being in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
A. “To be in such an amazing show – one of the best – is super exciting. And being part of a close theatre family and learning from other actors makes the experience even better. It’s a lot of fun.”
Q. We hear the Stagecoach Agency put you forward for the role – how did you feel when you heard you’d got it?
A. “I was thrilled. I can’t describe it. I asked my parents if they were joking!”
Q. You’ve bee in the role for six months, but can you share how you prepared for it?
A. “I had lots of rehearsals and watched the actor who played the role before me. It was wonderful becoming the part.”
Q. What do you think helped you get the part?
A. “Being at Stagecoach. It gave me the confidence to go for the role and that was an important part of it.”
Q. Which Stagecoach school did you attend?
A. “I went to Stagecoach Battersea for five and a half years and absolutely loved it.”
Q. What was your favourite thing about it?
A. “I made some fantastic friends and we all still see each other and catch up regularly. The teachers were so supportive of all of us too.”
Q. How did Stagecoach help you becoming an actor?
A. “It taught me to be more confident and how to project my voice – which are super skills I use everyday. The performing skills are taught by experts, so you know they are good. Plus, everyone is so nice and friendly and keen to help.”
Q. Did the other actors in Harry Potter help you?
A. “Yes. They welcomed me into the ‘family’ and made me feel at home – as if I had been there for months.”
Q. What’s the most surprising thing about working on the show?
A. “The special effects and make-up. I love the audience’s reaction to the real magic they see.”
Q. Have you seen the Harry Potter films?
A. “Yes, I’ve seen all of them and I think they’re brilliant.”
Q. How did you fit in theatre with school?
A. “I usually took homework with me to the theatre and did it there. It makes for a good balance between homework and being in the show.”
Q. Any tips could for other young performers?
A “Always be yourself and whatever role you do get, remember to follow instructions and be ready to learn, but also put your own style into the character.
Micky Hunt, Principal of Stagecoach Battersea, added, “Henry has been an attentive student since joining us at Stagecoach Battersea, learning quickly and always wanting to push himself. We want our students to go on and achieve great things in whatever walk of life they choose but to have a child performing in the West End is a real honour. I am immensely proud of how he has developed into such a confident young performer and the experience of being part of such a world-renowned production will be life-changing for him, helping him develop Creative Courage for Life.”
Tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre are currently on sale until 7 April 2019. Harrypottertheplay.com