Bracon Ash teen lands youth theatre place

A young south Norfolk actor has been performing to sell-out crowds in Sheffield following his acceptance into the prestigious National Youth Theatre.

Charlie Keable, 15, from Bracon Ash, landed a role in the art group's production of Slick – a creative eco-thriller played out in the flats of the city's iconic Park Hill estate.

Tickets for the show, which was performed at the weekend, had sold-out before rehearsals had even begun.

Charlie, a student at the City of Norwich School, said: 'It's a lot of fun. Whatever part you get in this, you get a huge role and all the big chorus pieces.

'It's a type of immersive theatre so the audience is a part of the play – they kind of walk through it. There's lots of smoke and lights.'

His performance in Slick is the latest in a line of successful roles for the aspiring career actor who first tread the boards when he was just seven.

His parents enrolled him in a production of Oliver being performed by the Lowestoft Players and his interest grew from there.

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Charlie has since starred in productions by the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre and has even had his voice recorded for audio guides used at the British Museum, in London.

Following open auditions at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, last year he received a spot in the National Youth Theatre, famed for nurturing emerging British talent with alumni including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Day Lewis and Orlando Bloom.

But Charlie said his best experience to date has been being picked to act alongside Hollywood royalty Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart in a production of Waiting for Godot at the Norwich Theatre Royal in 2009.

'That was easily the biggest and best thing I have ever done. No offence to the National Youth Theatre, but to perform alongside major film and theatre stars was so good, so surreal,' he said.

The ambitious teenager hopes he can turn his talents into a career, particularly comic acting in the footsteps of his favourite actors which include Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey.

He said: 'I would love to do this as a career. I enjoy it so much. I think I'll try to take it towards comedy - I just hope I can make it.'