A talented Sheffield youngster is set to miss the first term of his new school after landing a leading role in the stage version of The Full Monty.
James Burton, aged 11, was due to start Tapton Secondary School – but that all changed when he got the call from show bosses saying he had been chosen for a lead part.
And now budding stage star James, of Deepcar, is set to hit the road alongside TV stars Gary Lucy, best known for Hollyoaks and The Bill, and Louis Emerick, of Brookside and Waterloo Road.
The stage version of the famous film, on a national tour of theatres, tells the story of six unemployed Sheffield steelworkers who strip off to raise much needed cash.
James is set to play Nathan, the lead child actor who is the son of main character Gaz.
Mum Emma, 36, of Manchester Road, Deepcar, said the family were delighted
She said: “It was about the end of July after James got recalled for an audition down in London. “We were on our way to Sunderland, driving up the motorway to visit some relatives and the phone rang it was one of the show directors.
“I put it on loud speaker and it’s safe to say when the good news came through there was a lot of noise in the car.
“I was over the moon. I’m so proud of him. I knew being his mum he would get the part.
“He’s a cheeky little lad I think that worked in his favour.”
James is the only Sheffield-born actor in the production – which saves him from some accent coaching.
Emma said: “He hasn’t got an overly broad Sheffield accent but he can put a good one on.
“Others have had to have a bit of accent coaching I don’t think James has needed it.”
But the talented youngster is not getting off school scot free – a tutor will be there throughout the tour to make sure he doesn’t miss any school work.
“He’s not getting off that easy!” Emma added.
“The school are going to email work over to him while he’s on the road so he’ll not be behind.”
Tapton assistant head teacher Kat Rhodes said the school is fully behind James.
She said: “At Tapton, we’ve had a long history of supporting students fulfil opportunities in the performing arts – we’re absolutely delighted for James.
“His teachers a re currently in the process of getting all of his work together so he won’t miss out.”
James has previously been a choris ter at Sheffield Cathedral and attends Sheffield Performing Arts theatre school.
In 2013 he played Nipper in the Sheffield Theatres production of Oliver! And 2014 he played the role of Michael in Manor Operatic’s production of Peter Pan.
James kicks off The Full Monty UK tour this week in Blackpool.