South Woodford 11-year-old’s a stage veteran

A TALENTED 11-year-old who has taken the West End by storm with two years of non-stop performances has landed another dream role.

Harry Polden, of Peel Road, South Woodford, is once again lighting up the stage after winning the only child role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies.

And with performances in Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Priscilla Queen of the Desert under his belt, the child star has become a seasoned pro.

“I’m loving every minute of it,” said Harry.

“It’s a big part but I’m really enjoying it. I was nervous on my first performance but after that it’s just fun.”

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Having left Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School in Chestnut Drive, Wanstead, in July for Trinity Catholic High School in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, Harry has had to balance life at a new school with playing in front of packed out auditoriums.

But none of that has fazed him.

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Proud father Lewis said: “He hasn’t missed a day of rehearsals, keeps up with all his school work, even taking homework to performances, and is still very modest of his achievements.”

Harry ventured into the theatre world after singing at his school’s Christmas show in 2007.

After winning praise and following some advice, Harry went to the Carmel Thomas Performing Arts School in Buckhurst Hill and within a week was asked to audition for the West End production of Oliver!

And he has not looked back.

After Oliver!, Harry started a 14-month run in Joseph, and then went straight on to Priscilla.

Asked to pick a favourite show, Harry said: “I can’t pick a favourite because I loved them all, and the people are always so nice that I end up making a lot of friends.”

He added: “[My friends are] never jealous, just happy for me. Some of my best friends even came up to see me.”

Harry wants to be a theatre actor when he is older, but is keeping his options open.

He will be performing in Love Never Dies, which is on at the Adelphi Theatre in Covent Garden, until March.

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