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A Portsmouth pupil has been performing in a spectacular new theatre version of The Railway Children – staged inside London's Waterloo station.

For 13-year-old Sam Dukes the chance to appear in an adaptation of Edith Nesbit's classic children's book allowed him to realise a life-long dream.

The King Richard School student has been acting since he was just four years old, and this year his family, schoolmates and drama teacher were in the audience to see him hit the big time.

And not only did he get to rub shoulders with some of the West End's hottest talents, but also the real stars of the show – Stirling Single No.1, a 66-tonne steam locomotive, and the Old Gentleman's Saloon, a carriage which featured in the original Railway Children film.

The play is being staged at the former Eurostar Terminal, where a 1,000 seat venue has been built around the railway tracks with the audience seated either side.

Sam said he will miss the excitement of acting in the show when his part finally comes to an end tomorrow.

'It's been really amazing,' he said. 'And I know the play so well now I could probably play every part.

'Acting, singing and dancing are all I've wanted to do since I was little – I just love entertaining people.

'And all the other actors were really friendly and gave me lots of great advice.'

His mum Jenny, 51, of Willersley Close, in Paulsgrove, said her son had taken the whole experience in his stride.

'He doesn't get nervous at all,' she said. 'It has been amazing seeing him up acting on the platform with the rest of the cast.

'We are all so proud of him, and hopefully this is just the beginning; all he wants is to be an actor, and we want to support him in any way we can.'

The play tells the story of three children who move to a house near the railway after their father is imprisoned.

Jenny admitted that running Sam into London once or twice every week since June has been tiring for the family, but said it 'was a chance he couldn't afford to pass up'.