Talented Hartlepool academy girls land leading roles in professional stage show

Amelia Nixon, 10, and Poppy Edwards, nine, of Miss Toni's Academy who will play Amy Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at Billingham Forum Theatre.
Amelia Nixon, 10, and Poppy Edwards, nine, of Miss Toni's Academy who will play Amy Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at Billingham Forum Theatre.

Two Hartlepool girls - aged just nine and 10 - have landed lead roles in a professional stage show.

Amelia Nixon, 10 and Poppy Edwards, nine, who are both students at Miss Toni’s Academy, auditioned alongside over a 100 other young hopefuls for a musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture Google street view

Billingham Forum Theatre. Picture Google street view

During an intense six hour initial audition, Amelia and Poppy were picked out to audition again for one of the lead children’s roles Amy Cratchit.

After the recall the girls were both offered the part in alternating performances.

And because they were of such a high standard Amelia and Poppy were also asked to be in the children’s chorus when they aren’t playing Amy so they will appear in every performance.

Writer and producer Anne Dalton’s adaption of A Christmas Carol will be performed at the Billingham Forum Theatre from Wednesday, November 7, to Sunday, November 11.

Toni Parker-Harvey, principal of Miss Toni’s Academy (MTA), said: “The girls are really excited to be in this show, it’s such a good opportunity especially with them taking on a lead role as well as the children’s chorus.

“I am so proud that the girls are representing MTA in such a great show.

“Before the auditions the girls received extra tuition to make sure they were fully prepared, I’m glad this paid off.

“I’m really excited to see them in a professional show, it’s going to be brilliant!”

Both girls have been members of Miss Toni’s Academy for several years.

The academy teaches singing and performing arts which includes dance and drama.

They recently moved into a new custom-built studio in Thomlinson Road.

Toni added: “I’m not surprised at the girls’ success because they are both very talented.

“They were also really excited about the audition and wanted it which also helped.

“It is a really good opportunity for them to take part in professional theatre.”

Eight Miss Toni’s Academy members are also currently appearing in Darlington Operatic Society’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Toni said: “We like to think we train to a high standard so they can get these opportunities.”

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are £16 and £12 concessions with matinee performances.

See www.forumtheatrebillingham.co.uk