SCHOOLBOY star Redmond Rance will be singing all the way to the West End – after landing a role in a major production of musical comedy Singin’ in the Rain.
The 11-year-old pupil at Boundary Oak School in Fareham was selected from 50 contenders for the part of a young Cosmo Brown – the best friend of Don Lockwood, famously played by Gene Kelly in the original 1952 film.
Redmond, who has been studying tap since the age of four, already boasts an impressive theatrical career with parts in Oliver! at the Kings Theatre in Southsea and Billy Elliot at the Ferneham Hall.
But he knows this performance at London’s Palace Theatre is his biggest to date.
Redmond said: ‘I’m so thrilled. When I went up to London for the audition I was nervous.
‘We were given a dance routine to learn on the spot and I gave it my best. Four days later I found out I had got the part which put a huge smile on my face.
‘I haven’t seen the Gene Kelly film but I’ve heard about it and I will definitely get a copy soon.
‘It’s not long now before the show starts which is nerve-wracking but I’m looking forward to rehearsing and finding out more about my part.
‘This is the biggest thing I’ve done in theatre so far. It’s going to be hard work juggling the performances and my studies but I know I can do it.
‘Even if it means doing my homework on the train and having no free time, it will be worth it.’
Redmond will start rehearsing the tap dancing and singing routine which forms part of a flash-back scene in January.
He said: ‘I’m happiest when I’m on stage, and this is an amazing opportunity.’
The Chichester Festival Theatre production will transfer to the West End from February 15 – and Redmond’s teachers and schoolmates will almost certainly be taking up the front rows.
Stephen Symonds, headteacher, said: ‘We are very proud of Redmond’s achievements.
‘He’s juggled school life and work life brilliantly and sets a great example.’