Talented St Albans 10-year-old cast as lead role in West End musical
- Credit: Archant
A talented young actor has been cast as a lead role in a critically acclaimed West End production.
Ten-year-old Jack Meredith, from Marshalswick in St Albans, is one of three boys to play eight-year-old Noah Gellman in Caroline, or Change - a musical set in America during the civil rights movement.
Caroline is a poorly paid maid in 1963 Louisiana working for the Gellman family. She befriends Noah while trying to make enough money to feed and clothe her children.
After selling-out on Broadway, at the Chichester Festival, and then at London’s Hampstead Theatre, the play is now moving to the Playhouse Theatre from late November.
Jack’s dad Jon Meredith said he was speechless when he heard: “It is a big opportunity, once in a lifetime. It is quite a step up to go on the West End as a lead role.
“It is not anything we planned, it is a hobby that has surprised us by growing into this.
“I think I will probably struggle to watch him because I will be incredibly proud, I know I will be. I will be an emotional and proud dad.”
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Jack already kick started his acting portfolio in February this year by appearing in a national advert for Kingsmill bread, which was aired on ITV, Channel 4, and Sky, on top of appearing in local productions.
He has been cast as Oliver in Oliver at Harpenden Public Halls this October.
Jon added: “When he heard he said it was a dream come true and it goes to show that working hard to pursue something always creates opportunities.”
The pre-teen will have to miss afternoons at Wheatfields Junior School for three weeks of rehearsals, ready for his run on-stage until April next year.
Dad Jon is not worried about Jack’s schoolwork however, seeing it as simply a busy period.
Caroline, or Change has been described as a “modern masterpiece” by the London Evening Standard and given five star reviews by The Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, and The Daily Telegraph.
It is directed by Michael Longhurst and written by Tony Kushner, with music by Jeanine Tesori, and featuring Sharon D Clarke as Caroline.
The production won the Society of London Theatre’s Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2007.