A student from Lancing is celebrating success after being offered a leading role in a performance with a highly selective national youth theatre company.
Luke Bassett, 14, who takes classes at the Regnante School of Performing Arts (RSOPA) in Worthing, has been accepted into the National Youth Music Theatre – which boasts alumni such as Jude Law and Idris Elba – for the 2017 season.
When he found out the news, Luke said: “I was shocked!
“It has taken a while to sink in. But I’m so excited.”
He has been chosen out of thousands of teens to play the villain, cat, in Honk the Musical, an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable The Ugly Duckling.
In April, he and other successful applicants from all over the country will go on a ten-day residential course led by industry professionals, before touring several theatres with the performance in May.
It’s a given walkway to the successful career in theatre that Luke has been hungry for since the day I met himAmelia Regnante, Luke’s teacher
Luke said he was looking forward to ‘the whole experience’.
The Sir Robert Woodard Academy student, who lives in Kings Road, Lancing, with his two sisters, started taking classes at RSOPA at the age of 8, starring in Les Miserables.
“I’ve always been a performer,” said the singer, dancer and actor, adding that he ‘definitely’ sees this as his future career.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Luke takes performance classes three times a week – which he helps pay for by doing three paper rounds every morning and other odd jobs.
The teen, who is often the only male in his classes at RSOPA, said his parents are ‘very supportive’ of him.
His inspirations are the performers in the West End end and on Broadway, as well as his RSOPA teacher Amelia Regnante.
He said: “Amelia is really inspiring. She’s helped me so much to be where I am today.”
Amelia, who founded RSOPA 11 years ago, said: “Luke is a uniquely talented child and always has been.”
She had sent students to audition at the company several times before, but said: “Even some of our best haven’t been lucky.
“It’s very tricky to get in.”
She said of the opportunity: “It’s a given walkway to the successful career in theatre that Luke has been hungry for since the day I met him.”
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