A Berkhamsted schoolgirl has lined up alongside stars of the West End as she performed in the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium.
Anna De Oliveira, a Year 6 pupil at Berkhamsted School, was one of only eight children in the show which included experienced performers Sheridan Smith and Jason Donovan.
The sold-out West End show spanned 11 weeks, with Anna playing multiple roles.
The reimagined production to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary included only eight children, instead of a choir. The young actors took on roles and were involved in the action throughout the show.
Anna’s scenes involved choreography, singing and dancing that impressed the thousands seated in the audience.
She particularly enjoyed the high-octane Joseph Megamix at the end of show, which received a standing ovation every night.
Anna was cast as one of the children that tells the story along with the narrator. In the scene where Joseph first appears on stage, Anna’s acting played a part in convincing the audience how amazing and astonishing the lead character is.
Speaking about her experience, Anna said: “It felt amazing performing in the show.
“A lot of the time my family and friends came to watch me. When I heard them all cheering and wooing it made me so happy. I could barely contain my excitement, but I kept my composure and stayed in character.
“The London Palladium is an absolutely magical place to perform. It was a lot to take in when I first arrived for rehearsals. It’s huge. The scenery was full of pyramids and the floor across the whole stage looked like sand.
“The whole experience has been really beneficial. I feel more confident, and I feel like I’ve become a better actress by learning from all the other stars in the show.”
While the majority of the shows were during the school holidays, Anna has managed to balance her drama commitments with school life.
In fact, she recognises the impact of her teachers and lessons in English and Drama have had on helping her reach this level of success.
She added: “My memories at Berkhamsted go right back to Pre-Prep. My first role was playing Mary in the Nativity play.
“Looking back, my singing sounded awful then. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities at school and I’m pleased that each one has given me the chance to improve.
“My school experiences have really helped me. The drama teachers have taught me so many techniques and they’ve guided me towards being more confident.”
Her class teacher, Marcus Fleet, said “It is wonderful to see Anna performing in a highly successful West End show. She is incredibly enthusiastic about her acting and I was delighted to see her aiming high in order to fulfil her dreams.”
Picture courtesy of Tristram Kenton