Shining star on stage
PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 June 2016
A Weston-super-Mare boy has been taking to one of the country’s most famous stages after landing the only child role in hit musical Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
Freddy Jones, who is just nine years old, has been juggling school with lighting up the stage at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Priscilla follows the stories of two drag queens and a transgender woman who perform in a drag show in Alice Springs, Australia. Freddy has taken on the role of Benji, who is the son of the main character, Tick.
The role of Tick has been filled by former Blue singer and West End veteran Duncan James, and Freddy has even been able to duet with the star.
His mother, Rachel Jones, told the Mercury he loves being the only child – and said the cast have treated him well, including taking him out for lunch during half-term.
She said: “He has always been into his performing and been one of those creative children.
“He has done lots of drama and dance in Weston and now goes to the Bristol School of Performing Arts. He now works with an agency and we sent off his CV and then went to an audition for Priscilla.”
While the run has coincided with half-term, Freddy’s second week in the role means he must balance school in the day and performing at night.
Rachel says the success of such an arrangement depends on the child – but Freddy, who goes to Castle Batch Primary School in Worle, just ‘loves’ to perform.
She said: “He just takes it all in his stride. He just loves being on stage.
“It can be hard sometimes trying to get him to go to bed a bit earlier, especially in half-term, but he knows he has to go to school as normal. They look at attendance if you want a licence to perform, so they take school seriously.”
Freddy will perform eight shows in the two weeks, and Rachel said his talent brought out strong emotions.
She said: “As soon as he started singing I had tears in my eyes. He just looks so little on stage and I could not be prouder of him.”