Potters Bar boy considers himself hired for Oliver!

A BUDDING young actor has secured a 'dream role' in the West End run of Oliver! James Hodge, from Oakroyd Avenue, Potters Bar, has beaten hundreds of other boys to land the prestigious part of the workhouse boy in the

A BUDDING young actor has secured a "dream role" in the West End run of Oliver!

James Hodge, from Oakroyd Avenue, Potters Bar, has beaten hundreds of other boys to land the prestigious part of the workhouse boy in the musical.

The 10-year-old was given the "opportunity of a lifetime" after he won a year's scholarship to Top Hat Stage School through a scheme run by Hertsmere Borough Council.

He has attended the stage school, based in Monk's Walk School, WGC, since January.

The talented actor, who attends Cranborne School, Potters Bar, is overjoyed with his Oliver! part, which he will play at the Theatre Royal 12 times a month from the end of July until December.

He said: "This is a massive opportunity for me.

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"I am so excited and I can't believe it is happening."

Mum Jennifer, 41, added: "I am so proud of James.

"He has been loving Top Hat and was so happy to have been offered the scholarship and to now have him in the West End is just amazing."

Top Hat principal Warren Bacci said: "I knew from the first time I saw James at the auditions that he was good.

"We had no hesitation in signing him up to our agency and to put him forward for various roles - he has shown amazing talent."

Mr Bacci added: "I am so thrilled James he will be joining the Oliver! cast. It's such great news."

Oliver! will run at the Drury Lane theatre in London until July next year.

Rowan Atkinson is currently playing Fagin, with Omid Djalili taking over the role from July 20.