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Harry swaps classroom for West End
Schoolboy Harry Stott is revelling in his new role alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End musical Oliver! – even if his classmates are his harshest critics.
The 13-year-old has performed in front of Hollywood stars, top television producers and seasoned press reviewers.
But next week he faces his toughest audience of all – more than 100 of his school friends.
The pupil, from Moulsford Preparatory School, near Wallingford, was picked to play Oliver after taking part in BBC One show I’d Do Anything.
And last week he starred in the show’s premiere at the Theatre Royal in London’s Drury Lane, beside fellow Oxfordshire actor, Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson, who lives in Waterperry, and plays Fagin.
Harry said: “It was really amazing. The audience was just great. It was really exciting and I was not too nervous.
“It is really fun being on stage, and I love it at the end when the whole audience claps and cheers.”
Harry, who lives in Henley, was one of 12 boys picked by the BBC to take part in the Saturday night television show last year.
During the 10-week series, hopefuls were whittled down by the judges, who included Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh – with just three picked to share the role.
Jodie Prenger won a public vote to star alongside Harry as Nancy.
Harry, who hopes to go to Abingdon School later this year, is performing three shows a week – catching the train to London after class.
He said although he had already performed in front of stars such as Keira Knightley and Jeremy Clarkson, he was more worried about knowing his classmates were coming to watch him on Wednesday.
Harry said: “I am quite nervous, because I will be performing in front of people I know.”
It is not the first time Harry has starred in the West End – he also played Michael Banks in the stage production of Mary Poppins.
Harry’s dad Paul Stott, 52, a lawyer, said: “We are very proud of him and what he has achieved.”