Sidmouth girl’s dream West End debut

A YOUNG performer who grew up on Sidmouth’s Manor Pavilion stage has described her West End debut as “the experience of a lifetime”.

Rising star Hannah Thompson, 15, came home to reality on Tuesday after six performances at the Apollo Theatre.

She was part of the young cast of 13 The Musical that received a standing ovation on every night of the run.

“It felt like a dream until I arrived at the theatre to see the signs being put up - and total strangers asking to have their photo taken with me,” said Hannah.

“Now I am home it feels like it didn’t happen, but the memories I have will be there forever. I didn’t want it to end.”

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Hannah’s mum Angela Davies, who is head of drama at Sidmouth College, proudly watched her daughter in four of the six performances.

She looked on “with a sense of disbelief” that, at just 15, her daughter had achieved a life long dream.

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“If someone had told me that, when I put her on the Manor Pavilion stage at three-years-old as a child on board Titanic, I would be watching her 12 years later in the West End - I would not have believed them.

“For us as parents to see her image up in lights alongside Thriller, Chariots of Fire and just up the road, Les Miserables, was to bring the first of many lumps to our throats.”

Show director, Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, told Hannah she was the first actress to really understand the character of Kendra and perform her how he perceived she should be.

The cast made a professional recording of the show which will go on sale soon.

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