Young star enjoying time in the West End

Josh Shadbolt on the red carpet with his Mum
Josh Shadbolt on the red carpet with his Mum

A nine-year-old from Clifton is currently starring in a production of Made in Dagenham the Musical in London.

Josh Shadbolt who goes to Henlow Academy School is playing Graham O’Grady in the production at the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand.

Josh has attended Vision Theatre Arts in Sandy, run by Emily Thornton, since September 2012.

He is also a junior chorister, along with his eight-year-old brother Alex, as they sing in All Saints Church in Clifton.

Emily Thornton said: “I am very proud of Josh and what he has achieved, he has gone from stength to strength and had a real battle to get this part.

“He was up against lots of children and had to go to numerous auditions.”

Josh was invited to audition for the part of Graham O’Grady, as the production had seen thousands of boys for the role, but were finding it difficult to cast a child who could sing the hymn Jerusalem.

At the audition he kept getting through each round, until a few hours later he was down to the final six.

It was clear the fact he is a soprano helped him along the way to landing the part.

Josh’s mum Sue said: “We went away on holiday to Dorset and a few days into the holiday we had a call to say he was invited for a recall at the Sylvia Young School in London.

“The company would pay for the train fare which was close to £100 from the nearest train station in Dorchester.

“Two days later I had an email to say he had been offered the role of Graham O’Grady!

“We are all so proud of Josh getting this wonderful opportunity to perform in this new musical.”

That was back at the end of July and the rehearsals were due to start in early August.

Josh rehearsed for the rest of the school holidays and is now performing in the production proper.

Earlier this year Josh was performing as a Barnacle Boy at the London Coliseum in Peter Grimes the Opera.

He also regularly performed with Vision Theatre Arts School at Sunday Night Live at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Josh was also an extra on a short film Our Time, which is set in the 1980s and a Paperboy in Victorian period drama Lacey.

For more information on the musical or if you want to get tickets to the show visit

>You can also call 02037 257060 to buy tickets for the uplifting new West End musical comedy about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right.