They both shared a dream to “rock out” in front of thousands – and now Austin Kindler and Audrey Newman are doing just that after landing roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash production, School of Rock.
Based on the smash-hit film from 2003 starring Jack Black, the show follows wannabe rock star Dewey Finn (Gary Trainor), who poses as a substitute teacher and turns a class of straight-A students into a bona fide rock band.
Guitar-playing Austin, who turned 11 this week and attends a school in Hampstead Garden Suburb, has never performed in the West End and describes joining the cast as “sensational”.
He reveals his first taste of fame arrived last year, when pop sensation Adele invited him onto the stage during her concert at the O2. “I saw 20,000 people around me and thought, ‘one day, I want them all to come and see me at my concert’!”
Austin moved a step closer to that dream when his family took him to a performance of School of Rock earlier this year. “I thought it was the best show I’d ever seen.”
With the help of his mum, they tracked down the show’s casting director and he was invited to audition. Soon after, Austin was offered the role of Mason, “the lighting and pyrotechnics kid”.
The budding star from Finchley says of his role: “I love my part. I have many funny lines and I get to sing and dance a lot.”
Meanwhile his co-star Audrey, 10, from West Hampstead, has also revealed her delight at joining the cast of the award-winning show as bass-playing Katie.
The youngster has performed on stage before – in Once at the Phoenix Theatre with Ronan Keating – and appeared in the 2011 film Foster, directed by her father, Jonathan. She has also worked on commercials and provided the voice of Zebby the Zebra in the animated children’s series, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.
But she says of her latest role: “School of Rock is definitely a very different experience for me, especially playing the bass guitar on stage I love music and acting and would definitely love to pursue both as