Budding Bishop's Stortford actor, 8, dazzles in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert role
An eight-year-old Northgate Primary School pupil who landed a role in a hit Broadway and West End show is now looking towards the next stage in his acting career.
Luke Shaw has been sharing the role of Benji with another young actor in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical, which played at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford from September 5 to 14 as part of a UK tour.
The youngster attends the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts (PQA) at weekends at The Bishop’s Stortford High School, where he takes classes in comedy and drama, musical theatre and film and television.
His mother Helen said: “Luke has attended PQA since he was four years old. This year, he has taken up additional dancing and singing lessons and he is also learning to play the drums. Luke has performed in local productions, but this [was] his first major role.”
Luke got the part in Priscilla after attending a PQA audition, whose exclusive agency for children and young performers, Quirky Kidz Creative Management, is the official children’s casting director and child management team for the show.
He split the role with 10-year-old Taylor Jenkins, from Romford, who trains at the Essex town’s branch of PQA.
During their time in the spotlight, the pair worked closely with a professional cast, including Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, who played Benji’s drag queen father, Tick.
As the tour moves on throughout the UK, 54 other boys will have an opportunity to take to the stage.
Kristie Sicolo, head of Quirky Kidz Creative Management, said: “It’s a brilliant production with a great cast and crew. Benji is a lovely role for the boys to take on. They had the exciting challenge of kickstarting the tour and we have heard wonderful feedback about [Luke and Taylor’s] performances.”