So many talented young people work in the West End. For many, it’s a springboard into the world of fame and fortune. And today, we’re looking at 10 of favourite former child West End stars who have gone on to big things.
How many have you seen on stage?
In 2012, Kerry Ingram became one of the youngest recipients of the Olivier Award for Best Actress In A Musical alongside her other Matilda The Musical co-stars. Since starring in both the Stratford-upon-Avon and West End productions, Kerry has had roles in both TV and film. And without realising, you’ve probably shed a tear or two over her as she is most famous for her portrayal of Shireen Baratheon in Game Of Thrones.
Eleanor Worthington Cox
Along with Kerry, Eleanor Worthington Cox picked up the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Actress In A Musical officially making her the youngest person to receive one of the prestigious awards as she was just 10 at the time. After her stint in the Tim Minchin musical, Eleanor landed a role as Young Aurora in Disney’s Maleficent before taking more roles on the stage. In 2016 Eleanor was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for her role in the TV mini-series The Enfield Haunting, and this year, she starred in Britannia.
Luke Youngblood was the first young actor to play the role of young Simba in Disney’s The Lion King on the West End. Since he shed his worries, eagerly anticipated to be king and completed the circle of life, he’s been popping up everywhere. In the UK, he’s probably best known for playing Ben Batambuze in The Story Of Tracy Beaker and Lee Jordan in the Harry Potter series. But for those who like cult American sitcoms, you’ll recognise him as Magnitude from Community. Pop! Pop!
Dominique Moore starred alongside Luke when she played young Nala in Disney’s The Lion King. Despite being diagnosed with and beating cancer, she’s had a busy career on screen and stage. Amongst many other roles, she’s appeared in CBBC shows including The Crust, UGetMe, Stupid!, Hotel Trubble and The Queen’s Nose. She’s also been a regular in Horrible Histories and will be appearing in the movie next year.
Carrie Hope Fletcher
This West End diva needs very little introduction. The current star of Heathers The Musical started her career as Young Eponine in Les Misérables. Since then, she’s gone on to star as grown-up Eponine, Wednesday in The Addams Family, and Beth in War Of The Worlds. She’s also released two singles, written three books, and has a YouTube channel with over 600,000 subscribers.
You may know him as Tom from McFly, but Tom Fletcher – brother of Carrie Hope Fletcher – started his rise to fame on the London stage. Before singing about girls with five colours in their hair, he sang about food and picking pockets as he starred in Oliver! in the title role during its run at the London Palladium in 1995.
Through open auditions, Kieran Alleyne was cast as young Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. The 13-year-old had had no formal training and no prior experience on stage but his natural talent kickstarted his career. Since stepping into the limelight, he has become a household name having appeared on The X Factor in the boyband 5 After Midnight who came third in the competition in 2016. Earlier this year, Kieran left the band to go solo but instead found his place back in Thriller Live.
Back in 2007, Layton Williams made his debut in Billy Elliot The Musical. He attended the Billy Elliot academy and his training was documented by the Paul O’Grady show. He went on to play Michael Jackson in Thriller Live but decided that the role wasn’t quite for him. Instead, he took the role of Kylie in BBC2’s Beautiful People and eventually went on to star in Bad Education. He’s now returned to the stage and has appeared in the UK tour of Rent and Hairspray.
Like Layton, Dean-Charles Chapman started his career in Billy Elliot. Unlike Layton, he didn’t start out as Billy. He first played two supporting characters before taking on the lead role. He was also the second-longest serving cast member and the longest-running Billy. After his six-year run in the West End show, Dean-Charles went on to star in TV and film. His most notable character is probably Tommen Baratheon in Game Of Thrones.
Now one of the most recognisable faces in the world, Tom Holland started his career on the West End stage as Billy Elliot. He quickly went on to perform on screen with notable roles in Wolf Hall and The Impossible. He’s currently playing Spider-Man and will star in the upcoming screen adaptation of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking series alongside Daisy Ridley.
Bonus: Christian Bale
Batman – AKA Christian Bale – has long been in the public eye. In fact, he’s been consistently appearing in films since 1987. And though people believe his role in Empire Of The Sun was his first role, they’d be mistaken. He actually appeared in another film, Mio In The Land Of Faraway, and he was in a West End show in 1984! He starred alongside Rowen Atkinson in The Nerd when he was just 10-years-old.
There are loads of talented young children on the West End stage right now. Fancy seeing them before they’re famous? There’s only one way to do it… go and see a show!