A SOUTHWICK schoolgirl bitten by the acting bug will be back on stage with her mum next week.
Eight-year-old Freya Sheridan, of Albert Road, is playing a Victorian child in Southwick Players’ production, Far From the Madding Crowd.
The play is this year’s entry for the Brighton and Hove Arts Council’s (BHAC) Drama Awards and it means Freya will be appearing before one of their judges for the second time.
She and her mother, Nettie Sheridan, were both cast in Animal Farm, the Player’s drama awards entry last year, and are now back on stage together for the second time.
Mrs Sheridan, who plays farmhand Soberance Miller, said: “Freya was quite young and I wouldn’t have let her do it on her own. She loved it and she adores the costumes. It is nice to be able to do something together.
“At the Casterbridge fair, she will be playing in the market place during the selling of wares and singing old school songs, like Oranges and Lemons. They are old songs to us, but new to them. We used to play that game at parties but she hadn’t even heard of it.
“Later on, in a fire scene, she will play a child on the farm and will take part in helping to put out the fire.”
Mrs Sheridan has been with the Players since 2011. Her first play was Thoroughly Modern Millie that December and she has since been both on stage and helping behind scenes.
“Before that I had not been on stage since I was at school but I had done some singing,” she said.
“I have also worked with stage management. The Players have a really committed backstage crew, building and painting sets.
“I have been in a few plays with them now and I absolutely love it. It is brilliant.”
Freya has just started rehearsing for the Players’ next production, Dick Whittington, but her elder brother Felix, 12, is not so keen on acting.
Mrs Sheridan explained: “He does some modelling and prefers that. He appeared on the Animal Farm poster but he does not do acting.”
She said From The Madding Crowd, at The Barn Theatre, Southwick, from tomorrow to Saturday, is a ‘rollercoaster’.
“You will be laughing one minute but you will need your tissues as well.”
Performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets £11 (no booking fee). Contact the box office on 01273 597094.