Far Eastern promise for starlet Katie

All set for dream job in Hong Kong. Young actress Katie Howard. Photo: 7686mf
All set for dream job in Hong Kong. Young actress Katie Howard. Photo: 7686mf

A 15-year-old schoolgirl from Sleaford has clinched her first big break - playing the title role in an international production of the musical Annie.

Katie Howard, of Victoria Avenue, is one of three young hopefuls who have been given a fantastic opportunity to perform as Annie at major theatres in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Kesteven and Sleaford High School pupil has attended the Theatre Royal School of Performing Arts for six years and she, along with a Lincoln girl from the same stage school and another from Devon, have been picked from auditions by Playhouse Productions to share the role.

An excited Katie said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told at first and it is only just sinking in at rehearsals.”

Anne MacLachlan from Playhouse Productions said they will be part of a company of 40 who will travel to Hong Kong for a month, returning home for 10 days before going out for a month in Singapore.

She said: “This show has been touring the UK for about 10 years and is now a joint enterprise with Lunchbox Productions who do a lot in the Far East. Next year we are looking at taking it to the Phillippines. It is a fantastic family show and sells well over there.”

Su Pollard will be replaying her role as Miss Hannigan having toured with the show for several years and Katie has spent a week down in London for rehearsals in readiness to leave on Saturday.

Katie said: “I can’t wait to experience what I love to do the most in such an amazing country with so many different cultures. Performing is the only thing I want to do and it just makes me really happy.”

Her American accent is coming along well having watched plenty of American TV shows and she found everyone in the team welcoming.

“I am incredibly lucky to have this opportunity,” she said.

Katie’s mum Rachel admitted she was a little nervous about letting her daughter travel so far away for a month but knows the production company will take good care of her.

Katie will have a tutor while she is out there. Her school friends have been very supportive and Katie still intends to continue with her education before setting out on her long term career.