FIRST she dreamed a dream – now this young actress is living the dream.
Ten-year-old Isabelle Allen celebrated the first showing of Les Miserables in her home town with a special screening for more than 200 of her family, friends and schoolmates last night.
The red-carpet event marked the conclusion of a sudden rise from school productions to Hollywood blockbuster for the Moira House pupil.
In between signing autographs and posing for pictures before the showing at Cineworld in Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, Isabelle said: “I’m really excited for all my friends and family to see the film.
“The whole thing has been a whirlwind really. At this time last year I didn’t even know if I was playing the part so to have come this far has been an absolute dream.”
Isabelle, who lives in East Dean, near Eastbourne, was acting in a production of the Pied Piper of Hamlin at her school when she was spotted.
She went on to audition and eventually won the role of the young Cosette in the film.
Isabelle is also performing in the stage version of Les Miserables in London.
Mrs Allen, who acted as her chaperone throughout filming, said: “It has been the most amazing year.
“It was totally out of the blue and we’re thrilled.”
It was the third premiere for Isabelle after the global launches of the film in New York and London.
But mum Elaine, 47, said last night’s event was special to Isabelle for her own reasons.
She said: “We wanted to do something for all the local people that have supported Isabelle and shown an interest in what she has done.
“The other premieres were fantastic for her but she wanted to share the joy and success with local people.”
The big screen adaptation of the hit musical, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, has been tipped for Oscar success and is already nominated for nine BAFTAs.
Ironically, despite starring in the film, Isabelle had to watch it with an adult as it has a 12A rating.
This means children under that age need to be accompanied by an adult to watch the film.
Collections were held at last night's event in aid of the Chestnut Tree House near Arundel and St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne.