St Albans girl wins place in Les Miserables in the West End

LITTLE Asha Banks fought off competition from hundreds of hopefuls to win the role of Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables.

Asha, eight, who lives in St Albans and is a student of Top Hat Stage School, is now appearing in the show three times a week.

She said: “I love being in Les Mis. It’s really good fun and really exciting. My favourite bit is doing the singing warm-ups with the whole cast on the stage. I sing the songs from Les Mis all the time at home and so does my brother, Fin. I’ve also made some really good friends.”

Her delighted mum Sophie Banks has seen the first half of the show so many times now that she knows it off by heart. She added: “Asha is really enjoying being in a West End musical. It’s a fantastic experience for her and she’ll remember it forever. She loves going to Top Hat on Saturday mornings and it definitely gave her the confidence to audition. Les Mis has a fabulous cast and she is learning so much from performing with them twice a week – her voice has already got stronger.”

Describing Asha as a talented young actress and singer, Top Hat Stage School principal Warren Bacci said: “We are all so proud of Asha.”

n Three scholarships in different age ranges are being given away by Top Hat Stage School in St Albans.

Auditions in the six to eight, nine to 11 and 12 to 17 age groups are being held from 3pm to 6pm on Sunday at St Albans Girls School.

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No preparation or experience is necessary and to register for an audition go to or call 01727 812666.