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Show-stopper of a role for talented singer David

PUBLISHED: 14:18 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 12 August 2010

A TEENAGER is thrilled to have landed a part in an Andrew Lloyd-Webber show-stopper. David Calvert, 13, started playing Friedrich, the eldest son, in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium in February. Nearly 1,200 children tried out for parts and

A TEENAGER is thrilled to have landed a part in an Andrew Lloyd-Webber show-stopper.

David Calvert, 13, started playing Friedrich, the eldest son, in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium in February.

Nearly 1,200 children tried out for parts and the youngster had to go through seven gruelling auditions to land the part. He was finally told in the seventh one - which lasted three hours - that he'd been successful.

The Darrick Wood School pupil, of Moriarty Close, Bickley, appears alongside Summer Strallen, who replaced Connie Fisher as Maria.

He said: "I was over the moon when I found out I got the part, it's nuts. I was really nervous on the first night and on the press night but I've been OK since then.

"Sometimes when I'm performing I get a glimpse of the packed audience and I think "how did I get here?"

"I've made a lot of friends because we're together a lot and the older actors give you advice. I met Andrew Lloyd-Webber, he was really nice."

The young star performs in four shows a week and gets an average of six hours sleep before he's back in school the next day.

"My friends were all really excited for me when I got the part but now it's just the norm.

"It can get quite tiring, but I really loving doing it. I still get time to play football and tennis," he says.

The show's PR team doubled up with teenage Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks to promote the show, in which Miss Strallen appeared as a wannabe musical star who's dream to play Maria came true.

Mr Calvert's mother, Jayne Calvert, 48, said she isn't surprised her son has become a West End star.

"He was always singing from when he was tiny," she said. "I'm absolutely thrilled for him because it's such a big role.

"He's full of life and quite a character. He likes to be the centre of attention but not so much at school.

"He gets a bit embarrassed, maybe because singing isn't seen as a very boyish thing to do. His friends and the school are really supportive though. The show is fantastic, I've been to see it about five times."

Mr Calvert will appear in the show until the end of June. Despite landing such a big part, the youngster is keeping his feet on the ground and taking his acting career one step at a time.

He said: "I'm still young, we'll see what happens. I'm going to have a bit of a break after this and then audition for the artful dodger in Oliver. It'd be great to get a big role in a film someday."

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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