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Ardingly dancer wins spot on West End show
An aspiring nine-year-old dancer has won a place in the West End musical Les Misérables.
Beth Martin was ‘spotted’ as she sang a solo from Les Mis at her dance school in Forest Row.
Beth, who lives in Ardingly and goes to St Peter’s Primary School, auditioned for the real thing and was chosen initially for the role of Eponine, a pampered child turned street urchin.
The young orphan is adopted by the main character, Jean Valjean, and grows into the heroine of the story.
Beth’s mum, Jenny Martin, said: “We still can’t quite believe it.”
The nine-year-old started dancing when she was three and has been a member at Tanzen Academy with Kathy Mackie-Clark in Forest Row for five years, where she studies tap, ballet and musical theatre.
Beth was ‘spotted’ singing the solo from Les Mis called ‘Castle on a Cloud’ in a play last year. Someone suggested she audition for the real thing in the West End and Beth lined up with about 80 other girls before eventually being offered the West End role.
Mrs Martin said: “Playing Eponine has been an amazing experience for her and has given her a lot of confidence to perform on the big stage.
“At the moment, she has a small walk-on role and also sings in the ensemble as a beggar.
“She is so excited to start her new role, which she will share with two other girls from August through to March next year.”
Beth has started rehearsals in preparation for her 59 show run in the production and said she was excited about the prospect of performing in front of a packed theatre.
She said: “I think I will be somewhere in between being nervous and excited when I first go on stage, but most of all I am looking forward to meet- ing everybody and performing.”
After her run on the West End comes to an end, Beth hopes to work towards becoming either a doctor or a writer, but will always retain a passion for acting and continue to perform.
Les Mis is among the longest running musicals in the West End and the world, and is now in its 28th year.
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