A Hartlepool girl has been strutting her stuff in the West End in front of musical legend Elton John and a string of other celebrities .
Kyria Cooper, aged 11, performed in a special 10th anniversary performance of Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London on Tuesday.
Kyria, who lives in Lizard Grove, in the Burbank area of Hartlepool, landed the role of Debbie in the hit musical and performed in front of an audience of specially invited guests on Tuesday.
The Hartlepool Stagecoach Theatre Arts attendee has also celebrated a year of performing in the production, which is set in County Durham during the Miners’ Strike.
Paula Day, the principal at Hartlepool Stagecoach, said: “For any little girls who go to dance, singing and acting lessons this is the dream and Kyria is living it.
“Kyria’s life totally changed at the beginning of February 2014 when Stagecoach sent her for an audition in Newcastle, along with hundreds of other girls from the North East, for the show.
For any little girls who go to dance, singing and acting lessons this is the dream and Kyria is living it.Paula Day, the principal at Hartlepool Stagecoach
“After a number of recall sessions, she received the phone call she’d been waiting for saying that they had picked her to train for the show.”
Kyria and her family were invited to watch a performance of the show before being thrown into an intense three-month period of rehearsals.
During that period, Kyria spent her weekdays in London before returning to Hartlepool for weekends.
She eventually gave her debut performance on May 10, 2014 and has been working ojn the show on a weekly basis.
Over a year on, Kyria has had her contract extended and will continue to perform in the production until at least September this year.
Paula added: “Kyria is thrilled to have been chosen to play the role of Debbie for this special anniversary performance.
“As she was entitled to two tickets, me and her foster mum, Marion Douglas, made the journey to London to watch the show and attended the no expenses spared after show party.
“Both of us are very proud of Kyria’s achievements, we were bursting with excitement.”