From the classroom to the chocolate factory...

Adam Mitchell, who is starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End
Adam Mitchell, who is starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End
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Adam Mitchell would normally be in his primary school classroom today, studying algebra or perhaps a spot of history.

But instead – and how about this to make your classmates jealous – the nine-year-old is in London after being picked to star in a West End stage version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by none other than Academy Award winner Sam Mendes.

Adam has been signed up to perform in the show at the Drury Lane Theatre until November, which isn’t bad for a lad who only started acting a couple of years ago.

Parents Tony – a teacher at Christ The King in Grange Park – and Dawn travelled to the capital at the weekend to watch Adam on the show’s opening night.

“I went to the stage door beforehand, asked how he was and got told ‘he’s gone very pale’.

“But as soon as it started you could see the enthusiasm in his face and it was like water off a duck’s back from then on. In fact I was more nervous than him I think,” said Dawn, who works at Warbreck House.

“It is fantastic to see him on the stage ... but I don’t know where his talent comes from because neither I or his dad have ever acted.”

Adam’s journey to success began when he and older brother Jack – both keen breakdancers – went to Scream Theatre School.

Jack, 13, a keen triathlete, decided to concentrate on athletics but Adam, helped by a grant from Blackpool Council, continued with the theatre.

The Bispham Endowed Primary School pupil is probably quite glad he did.

In the last couple of years he has landed parts in a couple of BBC shows, a TV commercial and appeared alongside Mick Miller and Billy Pearce during the Grand Theatre’s summer seasons.

Getting the part of Mike Teavee in a West End version of Roald Dahl’s classic though is by far his biggest role yet.

Just about the only downside is that his family won’t half miss him while he’s based in London.

“That will be hard – he’s there for the next five months – but he’s doing what he wants to do and I think he’ll definitely want a career in the theatre after this,” added Dawn.

“He’s not missing out on his education because he’s got a tutor down there, who is in contact with his school and making sure he is learning the right things.

“Plus Adam is also getting to go to museums in London and experiencing things he wouldn’t otherwise have experienced so I think it is great for him.”

Those back at Scream Theatre in Blackpool are proud of what Adam has achieved.

Jess Bell, from the agency, said: “He beat thousands of other boys to the part.

“He has been working so hard in rehearsals and deserves this so so much, and his family are so supportive and very grounded which is so important.”

To book tickets or for more information about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory go to www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com

For more information about Scream go to www.screamtheatreschools.com