Joining a drama class to help with his speech has set a schoolboy on the path to be a star of the stage.
Nine-year-old John Trevillion has landed a role in a theatre production of 101 Dalmatians playing one of the puppies. But it was a delay in talking which lead him to acting.
His mother, Lorraine Trevillion, said: “As soon as he could walk, John made steps towards each and every dog he saw. He had a great love of dogs but he also had delayed speech development and could not pronounce words correctly. He never managed to call the dogs he met by their actual names!”
“He overcame this problem through speech therapy sessions with Julie Scherrer at Twinwoods Health Resource Centre, Clapham, and while at the Sharnbrook John Gibbard Lower school he was encouraged to join a drama class to help him express himself.”
When John left lower school he was presented with a book in which his teacher wrote: “With a great line in funny accents and superb song-writing abilities, a career on the stage beckons!”
Mrs Trevillion added John was inspired to auditon for the part by these words, along with the encouragement of the drama teachers at his new school, Margaret Beaufort Middle School, in Riseley.
He is now one of 45 children playing the puppies. Mrs Trevillion said: “His puppy is called ‘wriggly bum’ and he has to do a lot of wriggling, as well as a lot of barking and singing.”
The show is being directed by Luke Sheppard, who is the associate director of the London production Matilda. It runs from December 9 to 28, at The Castle Theatre, in Wellingborough.