Maidstone schoolgirl lands role on the West End stage

Autumn Gale from Maidstone has just secured a role in The Secret Garden, that will be at The Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End during August.

Autumn, age 13, is getting ready to start rehearsals, which will be intensive eight-hour days. During the rehearsal period, the young cast will learn what roles they have secured within the ensemble.

Producers have announced a six-week West End run of the Tony Award-winning musical, which has been adapted to be performed by a rotating cast of 300 young people.

The show is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel, about an orphan who returns to England from India to live with her uncle.

The part requires Autumn to be able to sing, dance and act, all skills that she has been learning at Razzamataz Maidstone, where she has been a student since 2012.

Autumn Gale from Razzamataz Maidstone has just secured a role in The Secret Garden.
Autumn Gale from Razzamataz Maidstone has just secured a role in The Secret Garden.

Razzamataz’s Principal Charlotte Cotter was quick to see the potential in Autumn, having awarded her a prestigious scholarship last year in association with The Stage newspaper.

“We are incredibly proud of Autumn and wish her the best of luck in The Secret Garden,” says Charlotte. “Securing a role in the West End is an amazing opportunity and I know that Autumn will seize it with both hands.”

During the first audition, Autumn had to display her vocal ability by performing a song. She was then recalled to show her dancing skills and her final recall was for both singing and dancing.

“The audition process was quite long but at the same time very exciting,” said Autumn “I was over the moon when I found out that I got the part and would like to thank my teachers at Razzamataz for giving me the confidence to believe I could do it. I know it is going to be an amazing experience.”

Winning The Stage scholarship last year has helped Autumn in her dreams of becoming a professional performer when she’s older. She is determined to make it in the industry and particularly enjoys musical theatre. Her future certainly looks bri

ght and as well as continuing at Razzamataz she has been offered places to continue her performing arts training at full time schools Redroofs and Barabara Speaks.

Other youngsters all over the UK have an opportunity to enter The Stage scholarships again this year. Autumn has shown what an important platform it was for her and many Principals are looking to spot more future talent.

“The judges are looking for potential, so even if you have never had any professional training before, there is a chance that you will be chosen if you have raw talent,” explains Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “This is a really exciting opportunity for a youngster who has dreams of being a performer.”

The scholarships are available to current students at Razzamataz and those that do not attend the part-time theatre school. To ensure as many youngsters can enter as possible, Razzamataz has created a scholarship system where applicants film a short demo of no more than two minutes long showing them performing either a musical theatre song and dance, street dance, pop song, drama improvisation or scripted drama piece. The demo does not have to be professionally filmed. Candidates will also complete a short application form detailing why they would like to take this opportunity.

The auditions are open to children between the ages of 6-17. The deadline for entries is 31st July. For more information and an application form, contact your local Razzamataz school or simply follow this link