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Little Lily set to tread the boards in West End Matilda role

By Herald Express  |  Posted: July 05, 2011

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ONE of South Devon's brightest stars, Lily Laight, has landed a role in the original West End cast of Matilda The Musical.

The nine-year-old (pictured), currently starring at the Babbacombe Theatre after success in Torbay's Got Talent, has scooped a place in the Royal Shakespeare Company production.

Following a sensational sell-out season at The Courtyard Theatre, the RSC's production transfers to London's West End this October.

Having been selected from 5,000 young hopefuls, Lily will play the role of beloved character Amanda Thripp, the girl who is thrown by her pigtails by the evil Miss Trunchbull.

Mum Rebecca Laight said: "She came very close in auditions when she was eight years old but was too young and told to come back when she was nine. She was so excited when she found out, actually shaking. She made it her focus for a year to get the role.

"It is a great part. In the show the children are the focus."

Thanks to the generosity of the famed Sylvia Young Theatre School, Lily will be able to continue her education in London while training for the role.

The news comes after a fantastic year for Lily, having been signed to the Sylvia Young Agency and sweeping awards at dance festivals including being the youngest person to win the junior modern championships at the South West of England Festival.

The role means Lily will have to leave the cast of Heatwave at the Babbacombe Theatre.

Director Colin Matthews, who has been thanked by Lily and mum Beccy for giving her stage experience, said: "She stood out a mile when she did Torbay's Got Talent. She was born to be on the stage.

"We will be sad to lose her from the team but are delighted she has been recognised so early on.

"She did the Christmas show after Torbay's Got Talent and that gave her confidence. The opportunity to appear with professionals on a stage is something money can't buy."

Lily has been signed to appear in Matilda The Musical for six months at the Cambridge Theatre, London.

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