Consider yourself at home! Two Sheffield youngsters will be starring on stage together in their home city in Oliver! at the Crucible Theatre this Christmas, writes Julia Armstrong.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report.
Ranmoor lad Travis Caddy, aged 14, has already played the role of Nathan at the Crucible in The Full Monty. He plays the Artful Dodger and Walkley Primary School pupil Jack Skilbeck Dunn, aged 11, makes his professional debut in the title role in Lionel Bart’s musical, adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Oliver Twist.
Jack said: “It’s the first audition I’ve done. I’ve only been in plays at school. I really like singing the songs from Oliver! because I’ve watched it loads.
“I’m a bit nervous because I’ve never been in front of such a big crowd. At the same time I’m really excited.”
Jack’s mum Julie said: “All he’d wanted was to sing Food, Glorious Food on stage. When we knew he was in the chorus it was just amazing. The day we found out he was Oliver we were elated but I felt quite sick!”
Travis, who attends Birkdale School, has just been on tour with The Full Monty and had the excitement of getting standing ovations and his own curtain call.
He said: “The Full Monty was amazing, it was the best experience of my life. It was great meeting all the people I worked with.”
He now has his sights set firmly on an acting career and already has an agent.
Mum Judith said: “We are so proud and very excited for him. It was just brilliant when he got The Full Monty. This is a different challenge with singing and dancing involved. It’s good for him to do somethihng different.”
Travis shares the role of the cheeky Cockney pickpocket with 13-year-old Jack Armstrong from York and Barnsley youngster Samual Bailey, aged 12, will also play runaway orphan Oliver.
The boys were all selected from open auditions in June, which attracted hundreds of youngsters. They begin rehearsals alongside Whitechapel and Quadrophenia star Phil Davis, who plays Fagin, and the rest of the company in October.
Oliver! will run at the Crucible from November 29 to January 25. Box Office: 0114 249 6000 or sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.