St Albans child star bids farewell to West End show

Asha Banks

Asha Banks - Credit: Archant

Showbiz veteran - at the tender age of 13 - Asha Banks has performed for the last time in a West End show that has broken records in its final weeks.

Asha Banks

Asha Banks - Credit: Archant

Asha, who lives in St Albans, performed the principal role of Violet Beauregarde for the 100th and last time last night (Wednesday) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the West End’s oldest theatre.

The production, which opened officially in May 2013, will play its final performance a this Saturday and Asha will return to take a final curtain call with the rest of the UK cast members.

Asha’s own last performance at yesterday’s evening show marked the 100th time she sang the song she originated on stage in April, Queen of Pop, and the 100th time she blew up into a giant blueberry and rose to the top of the historic theatre in Covent Garden, before exploding.

The Parmiter’s School student said: “This musical has taken up nearly a year of my life, and I have had the most amazing time playing Violet Beauregarde. I got to debut the fantastic song Queen of Pop on stage and act with the most incredible cast 100 times. I have also made some wonderful friends for life.”

Asha trains with Musical Theatre Masterclass (MTM), the weekend performing arts school run by West End and soon-to-be Broadway star Michael Xavier where she was awarded the Star of the Future award in July.

She has been represented by St Albans-based Top Talent Agency for the past six years and is no stranger to the professional stage, beginning her career at the age of eight in the West End production of Les Miserables and going on to perform in the award-winning West End play 1984, as well as playing Duffy in 2015’s UK tour of Annie with Craig Revel Horwood and Lesley Joseph.

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Violet Beauregarde was her first principal part in a West End show.