Dunmow lad wins part in hit musical Oliver!

AN eight-year-old is set see his name in lights when he takes centre-stage in a hit musical.

Jack Kelly beat hundreds of other children to win the part of Nipper in the musical Oliver!

Apart from Oliver and the Artful Dodger, his character is the only other boy with lines and his own song.

The Great Dunmow Primary School student will spend six months touring some of the country’s most prestigious venues with the cast which includes Neil Morrissey as Fagin.

Jack said: “I am really looking forward to it, especially the singing and acting on stage with famous people.”

Is he fazed by the prospect of singing in front of hundreds of people?

“No. I have sung in front of my school before,” he said.

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Jack said he had always loved singing and joined Dunmow Arts Centre when he and his family moved from Witham last Christmas.

With several performances under his belt, Jacky Rom, owner of the centre, said it would be beneficial for him to sign up to the new talent agency that they run alongside Scene II.

Jack then went to Ealing’s Questors Theatre to audition for the part of Nipper. After only one audition he secured the part.

His parents, Hannah and Steven, are going to see every opening night performance of the tour.

Hannah said: “This is a great opportunity and it could open more doors for Jack. He will be away for three days at time and then spend six at home. While he is away all the children will have licensed chaperones so I don’t have to worry too much.

“Also, he will have been rehearsing with everyone for two months before they go so he will know all the cast.”

Jack’s first rehearsal is on October 22 with his first performance at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre on December 10.