A YOUNG actress from Teddington is making her West End theatre debut this Christmas in the Road Dahl classic, George's Marvellous Medicine.
Nine-year-old Lucy Mapplebeck beat dozens of other thespians to the part of the shrinking granny in the Birmingham Stage Company's new version of the book, in which George creates a medicine to cure his grandmother's temper, with surprising results.
A pupil at Twickenham Prep School, Lucy will perform the role for six weeks at The Bloomsbury Theatre.
Prior to her casting, she was unfamiliar with the book, but knew the stage version well.
Lucy's mother, Claire, said: "She's familiar with some of the Road Dahl books, but until she got the role she hadn't read it.
"In the summer we actually went to see this very production. She said to me at the time that she thought she could play the role of the granny.
"So she knows the stage version very well. This is her first acting job, but nothing seems to faze her. She's been at Stagecoach for three years, and initially we signed her up to help with her confidence, but now it's her first love.
"She went to audition for the role about three weeks ago along with 50 other girls. She took a couple of props along with her and she had me in stitches. She is also playing a chicken so she was practising her clucking sounds."
After the play, Lucy is hoping to get more parts but her family are determined to keep her feet on the ground.
Claire said: "If she could be an actress now for the rest of her life she would do it, no turning back, but it is a tough world out there. We will be supportive in what she wants to do, but we won't be pushing her."
The play will be on at the theatre from Tuesday until Saturday, January 22. For tickets, call the box office on 020 7388 8822 or see www.the bloomsbury.com.