IN a film featuring such treasures as the actor Robert Carlyle, the band Hot Chocolate and the much-missed Tinsley Towers, he was the Sheffield schoolboy who still managed to steal the show.
William Snape won the hearts of a generation when he played 10-year-old Nathan Schofield in the Oscar-winning movie The Full Monty.
Now, these three city youngsters and a token Lancashire lad are set to follow in his footsteps.
They have been chosen to play the cheeky chap – famous for encouraging his ne’er-do-well dad to get his tackle out – during the world premiere tour of a new play based on the 1997 film.
Today, The Diary can reveal the quartet are: 13-year-olds Jay Olpin, of Millhouses, Travis Caddy, of Ranmoor, Ewan Revill, 10, of Burncross and Jack Hollington, 11, of Manchester.
They were picked after open auditions attended by almost 100 schoolboys. The play – adapted by Simon Beaufoy who wrote the original screenplay – opens at The Lyceum Theatre in February. Afterwards, it goes on tour across the UK. The cast includes former Coronation Street star and Barnsley Boy Kenny Doughty.
“It’s easily the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me,” says Travis, a Birkdale Senior School pupil. “I had to have four call backs so I knew the competition was tough but I’m so happy I was chosen.”The film, which tells the story of six unemployed steelworkers putting on a striptease, was a surprise hit grossing over $250 million and winning an Oscar for Best Original Score.
“Everyone knows about The Full Monty,” says Travis again. “To be part of this is amazing.” He thinks for a second. “Although it’s going to be hard work too.”
He’s not wrong.
The four youngsters will have to keep up with school work while firstly working on rehearsals and then while on the tour itself.
That means two of the quartet will spend one week with the cast before having a week back at school when the second pair will take on play duties. When travelling around the country a private tutor will be on hand.
“My teachers have already given me work to do at home,” says Jack, a pupil at Merchant Taylors’ School in Liverpool. “And it’s only my first day of rehearsals.”
All four reckon it will be worth it, though.
They all want to be professional actors and – turning a blind eye to the fact the original film was certified 15 – they’re all fans of the movie. They like the original Nathan too.
“He’s really believable,” says Jay, who attends Silverdale School, the same school which William Snape himself went to. “I like how he’s cheeky and cocky. I think I’m a bit like that in real life which may have helped me get the part. I’ve watched it a few times. I’ve been trying to get into character a bit.”
And they’re all looking forward to the tour – “it’s an adventure” – and performing in Sheffield.
“I’ve got friends and family coming to watch,” says Ewan, a member of Sheffield’s Pied Piper am-dram group. “That should be great.”
Oh, and if the boys are excited, the parents are probably more so.
“We can’t believe it,” says Jay’s mother Julie. “He’s our little star.”
The play runs at The Lyceum from February 2-23 followed by a national tour running to May 4.
Agents queued to sign up youngster in LA
WILLIAM Snape was a pupil at Dobcroft Junior School in Millhouses when his life changed forever – he was picked to play the role of Nathan in The Full Monty.
The youngster was just 10 when directors picked him, and 12 when the film became a huge critical and commercial success.
He was whisked across the world as The Full Monty grew into an international hit.
In LA, he later recalled, he found himself at a table with “a queue of about 15 agents, casting directors and managers wanting to sign us up – it was mad.”
He returned to education at Silverdale School before moving to London and becoming a professional actor.
He has since starred in Emmerdale, Holby City and Heartbeat.
He has also taught acting to other young wannabes.