Youngsters from Letchworth and Hitchin star in London show The Railway Children
- Credit: Archant
It’s full steam ahead for two youngsters from North Herts who have landed their first professional roles in a top London show.
Oliver Seaman from Letchworth and Eva Gaidoni of Hitchin have joined the cast of The Railway Children at the King’s Cross Theatre.
The pair both attend the Box of Frogs Theatre School in Letchworth and will be performing alongside comedian and actor Sean Hughes, who plays station master Mr Perks, and actress Caroline Harker, who plays the mother.
Nine-year-old Oliver, of Pixmore Way, plays Mr Perks’ son Fred and has had to learn a Yorkshire accent for the role.
“I am having a brilliant time with The Railway Children because I am learning lots and making lots of new friends,” said the Thomas More Primary School pupil.
“It feels very exciting. I didn’t feel nervous at all because I really enjoyed rehearsing and practised lots. I am just so pleased to be a part of The Railway Children.
“I like the story because it teaches you there is always hope whatever the situation, and because the brothers and sisters are all best friends.”
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About being part of Box of Frogs, he added: “The theatre school has encouraged me to build up my acting skills and confidence.
“They have also given me the opportunity to perform in local productions such as West End at Home, where I performed alongside West End stars at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, which I loved.”
Eva, of Whitehill Road in Hitchin, features in the show as Edwina – one of the ‘Grammar School children’.
“I’m really enjoying it, it’s amazing,” said the 11-year-old who is in Year 7 at Hitchin Girls’ School.
“I’m so pleased. The cast have been very friendly and it’s just a nice atmosphere.”
Her father Giovanni said: “I am so proud of her. She’s worked so hard.
“She’d only been at Box of Frogs for a short while when they said they had auditions in London for The Railway Children show.
“None of us were expecting anything to come of it but we thought it would be good experience for her to go.
“The next thing we knew she’d been given a place!”
Eva’s mother Vanessa added: “I cried when she got the place, we couldn’t believe it.
“It’s funny but we went to see The Railway Children long before she had auditioned and to now see her in the cast is quite something.
“She was due to have braces put in before she was accepted. She was looking forward to just getting them out of the way.
“So when I told her she had to postpone having them she wasn’t best pleased – until I told her it was because she’d been accepted into the cast of The Railway Children!
“She’s been brilliant, we’re so proud of her. We also have to thank Box of Frogs for all their help – they’ve been brilliant.”
Former professional actress, singer and dancer Louise Davidson – who also appeared as a ‘suffragette’ in Danny Boyle’s famous London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony – set up Box of Frogs at its Meadow Way base in 2011.
She said: “We’ve had quite a few kids from here appear in West End shows.
“We’re delighted for them all, including Oliver and Eva.
“It’s testament to all their hard work, their parents support, and hopefully a nod to the fantastic team we’ve got here.”