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Lowestoft lad's lead role

PUBLISHED: 13:04 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 July 2010

A LOCAL teenager is gearing up for a fun-filled few months after being offered a lead role in the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Lothingland Middle school pupil Tom Higgins has been offered the role of Jeremy for the new production and is set to travel across the country with the show.

A LOCAL teenager is gearing up for a fun-filled few months after being offered a lead role in the national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Lothingland Middle school pupil Tom Higgins has been offered the role of Jeremy for the new production and is set to travel across the country with the show.

Tom, 13, has previously appeared in Billy Elliot in the West End and was Michael in Peter Pan at Lowestoft Marina Theatre's professional pantomime. But this time he will be touring the length and breadth of the country as one of the two lead child roles of the well-loved musical. Other credits include an appearance in Scouting for boys, television adverts and many appearances in productions by the Lowestoft Players.

Tom's father Dave is an active member of the amateur dramatic group and is set to direct their new production of Boogie Nights.

Mr Higgins said: “Tom has been interested in theatre since a very early age. He was only a few weeks old when he went to his first.”

Tom originally auditioned for the role last year but was told he wasn't tall enough. However, they remembered him and invited him along to audition again.”

The show is based on a book written for his son by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. The production is directed by Adrian Noble, and includes 30 actors, 46 children, 14 musicians, 30 technicians, 11 dogs and a flying car - which at £750,000 is the most expensive stage prop ever.

The production is set to call in at Norwich's Theatre Royal next month, with the first show on August 18, and it is at this point that Tom will join up with the cast, spending time in rehearsals before taking the role in Woking, in September. From here he will travel to Aberdeen, working two weeks and then having a week off.

Tutors will be on the tour to help the child stars keep up with school work, but Mr Higgins hopes the experience won't disrupt Tom as he begins at Benjamin Britten High School.

“He's really excited about it and hasn't spoken about anything else,” said his proud father.

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