Taking the leading role on stage is daunting enough, but to accept such a challenge on your musical theatre debut at the age of nine is doubly so.
However, Daniel McGovern, of Newbold, Chesterfield, is unfazed and thoroughly enjoying rehearsals in advance of Chesterfield Operatic Society’s production of Oliver at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield (November 25-29).
He is sharing the role with ten-year-old Max Henshaw, of Cutthorpe, who shared the role of Kurt in the society’s production of The Sound of Music last November.
They were picked out by director Phil Simcox and musical director Jonathan Francis after more than 50 boys auditioned to be Fagin’s urchins in the popular Lionel Bart musical.
They are being “coached” in the ways of the street by experienced Robert Spencer (40), who is returning to the role of Fagin he first played 14 years ago.
He said: “I have always wanted to have a go at it again having gained much more experience as a performer.”
Making it a real family affair, his son, Thomas (8), is one of the urchins while his wife, Julie, will be playing Mrs Beddows.
For Sarah Morrell, playing the role of Nancy fulfils a long-held ambition, which includes auditioning for the TV search for a Nancy on I’d Do Anything. “It’s a part I’ve always wanted to play,” she said.
Tickets, from £10.50, are available from the theatre box office, contact 01246 345222 or www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk