Luke steps up for dual role two hours before curtain up

A PERFORMING arts student has scooped an award for stepping into an unrehearsed role just two hours before the performance.

Luke King, aged 19, of Weston is a student at Weston College and delivered a show-saving performance in a recent production of George Orwell’s 1984. He was given the John Miekle Award at the end of the play’s run.

He said: “I was really proud to win this award because I haven’t done many plays, and I tried to approach it with a positive attitude.

“One of the actors had problems with his back, which got worse as rehearsal progressed. A couple of hours before he was due on stage it was obvious he just wasn’t fit to do it, and because his character and my character didn’t clash I volunteered to play both parts.”

Luke, who is originally from London, is the cousin of former Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King, and was also interested in a football career until he started the performing arts course.

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He said: “I hadn’t thought about a career in the theatre until sixth form as I was inclined towards football, but now I am definitely going into acting.”

Luke, who was first playing the role of a soldier then stepped up to the last minute role of the character Wiltshire at the Brewhouse Theatre, in Taunton, in addition to a role he was already playing.

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His director, Benn Cody, said: “Not only was Luke’s acting deserving of an award, but also his commitment and professionalism throughout the rehearsal process.

“On top of his exceptionally polite demeanour, Luke took notes extremely well and his passion for the project shone through from the first day of rehearsals.”

The production was by the Brewhouse’s Young Company and involved four Weston College performing arts students, including Luke, Jade Smart, Dan Gaskin and Martyn Elmsley.

Luke continued playing both roles for the remaining three nights of the production, earning praise from cast and audience.

The John Miekle Award is on offer for all company members involved in productions, not just those on stage, and two are offered in each Young Company production.

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