London beckons for Hollie

Hollie Cadwallender.
Hollie Cadwallender.

TALENTED teenager Hollie Cadwallender is on target to achieve her West End dream after landing a place at a leading theatre academy.

The 13-year-old from Hartlepool was chosen from hundreds of applicants to attend the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts which is the world’s oldest theatre arts training school.

She had to endure a five-hour test of her song and dance skills, as well as maths and English, before being accepted.

And on Monday, January 7, she will swap St Hild’s Church of England School in Hartlepool for live-in studies at the London academy.

Proud mum Gill Cadwallender, 41, said: “It is a massive achievement for her. It is really hard to get into the school and Hollie is really excited, but nervous at the same time because it is all new to her.”

Gill, who works as an electrical store administrator and is married to Lee, 42, a project supervisor, said: “Hollie went for an audition in December. She had to do two monologues, as well as tap, modern and ballet dances, as well as a maths and English test.

“We were on the train home when we got an email saying they wanted her there straight away.”

Gill, who is also mum to Lilly Cadwallender, aged seven, said: “It is going to be strange because Hollie will be away for such a long time. I am probably more nervous than her, but it is what she wants to do.”

Both Hollie and her sister are students at the Braithwaite Dowson Academy of Dance and Drama in Hartlepool.

Gill said: “Hollie has been going there since she was two.”

But the talented 13-year-old is no stranger to being on the road. Gill explained: “She went on a Christmas tour of White Christmas with Aled Jones and took in Southampton, Dublin and Liverpool.

“But this is all of her dreams coming true. She has always said that she needs to be in the West End.

“All of the family are really proud of her.”