He'd do anything!

A SCHOOLBOY has landed his dream role performing alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End. Ross McCormack, 14, of Mornington Road, Woodford Green, is playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Ross, who attends Forest School, C

A SCHOOLBOY has landed his dream role performing alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End.

Ross McCormack, 14, of Mornington Road, Woodford Green, is playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Ross, who attends Forest School, College Place, Snaresbrook, shares the role of the mischievous pickpocket with two other actors and performs three or four times a week.

He said: "It's really fun. It's a great experience for me, I can't really describe it, it's amazing.


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"My agent put me up for the audition and I had to go through loads of stages but when I got the part, I was really chuffed."

But despite his age, Ross is not new to the West End. After a primary school teacher spotted his raw talent, he won parts in Joseph, Les Miserables and the role of Michael Banks in Mary Poppins.

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After three months of rehearsals, Ross was picked to perform in the show's opening night in January.

He added: "I was so nervous, but it was good. I want to do this for a proper career."

He has two solo songs - Consider Yourself and I'd Do Anything - but says he already knew all the words from watching the 1968 film version of Oliver!

Playing the Artful Dodger has also given Ross the chance to work with one of his idols - Rowan Atkinson.

"He is really nice. He comes over and talks to us all the time," he said.

"I look up to a lot of people but Rowan is so funny, he's always doing little jokes and I have heard him say some of his lines from Mr Bean to make us laugh."

Ross has also never had any acting, singing or dancing lessons but has recently joined a musical theatre group called Academy Arts.

He added: "I've had lots of tips along the way and some directors have given me notes.

"I think they prefer it sometimes when you're more natural and they can direct you more."

He is contracted to play the role until August but until then the busy teenager will continue to juggle his schoolwork alongside his performances.

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