About Me

My photo
Hi. I am Adam, and I would like to share my experience of joining the West End musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while it was in Southampton and Singapore. My most recent news is just below, and in reverse order. This blog will be a reminder of this amazing experience, and yes, I am getting help writing it; remember I am only 9!

The End!

For Katie and I this is the end of our time with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The show continues today and tomorrow with Harriet and Harrison playing Jeremy and Jemima, and at 10.30pm on Sunday night, as the curtain comes down the 40 containers will arrive for the set, wardrobe, equipment and Chitty herself to be loaded into, ready to return to England. I will be leaving at 6am the following morning with the chaperones and the other 5 children for the 14 hour flight home from Singapore. On Tuesday I will be back to school, to return to my normal life.

It has been an amazing year; the nerve-wracking auditions and recalls, the exhausting rehearsals, the fun of performing in Southampton, the thrill of being chosen for Singapore, and most of all the incredible experience of going on tour with such an amazing production.

Thank you to everyone who made it possible - Julia and Maya for getting me started on the stage and encouraging me all the way - Claudia and Alexander for encouraging me through the auditions - Jo Hawes and Catie Entwhistle for choosing me for the role - Catie and Phil for teaching me so much about performing - Pat, Fran and Anne fr being great chaperones and tutors - my teachers and headmistress at Chandlings for letting me take up this opportunity - my parents and my sister Sasha for their support - and a very special thank you to my twin "Jemima", Katie Reynolds, for always making me smile!

Our last night .. nearly cut short!

With Richard O'Brien - The Childcatcher - on our last night.

Friday 7th December was the last performance for Katie and I. Neither of us were looking forward to the end of the show as we would be saying goodbye to the cast and the sewer kids, and we knew we wouldn't get to fly in Chitty again.

But towards the end of the first act, disaster struck as they realised that Chitty wasn't working properly. Eddie and Martin from stage management started shouting "stop the show, stop the show" and Rachel, one of the other stage managers, hit the button to drop the curtain.
The audience were told to stay in their seats and we were taken to Goran and Boris (the spies) quick change room just behind the stage. We waited and waited, and we were both really worried that the show would be cancelled and we would not get to finish our final show.

After nearly half an hour there was an announcement. "Please could all of the cast come to the sound box". We were told that they had fixed the problem, and the show could go on. Katie and I were SO relieved!

The rest of the show went smoothly. Katie and I found it very hard not to cry during the curtain call, but Pat had told us that we weren't allowed any tears. Children are only allowed to perform for a certain amount of time, and the delay had taken us to our time limit before the curtain call. For any other performance we would not have been able to take our bows, but because it was our last show Pat let us go on, but they shortened the curtain call.

As soon as the curtain fell Katie burst into tears and Kevin Kennedy took her off. I walked back to the dressing room feeling a bit sad that it was all over.

Raffles Hotel. Tuesday 4th December

Posh children in Raffles.

Harrison eating a disgusting green chewy jelly in Raffles.

With Harrison, Harriet, Harriet's sister Lizzie, reaching for the Christmas lights from the open top bus tour.

My mum, dad and sister moved to a hotel off Orchard Road today just 20 minutes walk from our apartment.

They picked me up at 2pm and we went to Chinatown and looked around a Hindu temple. Most of it was in the open air and it was really dirty. We had to take our shoes off first but luckily there was somewhere to wash your feet on the way out. It was strange to see it so dirty as the streets in Singapore are really clean because there aren't many dogs, you get a fine if you drop a single bit of litter and it is illegal to have chewing gum.

We are going to Raffles Hotel for high tea in the Tiffin Room so my dad had to buy long trousers. We bought them in Chinatown and they look like pyjamas!

We met up with Harrison and his family for tea, but they wouldn't let his dad in because he was wearing flip flops. He borrowed my socks to wear with his flip flops and then they let him in. Tea was great and we tried lots of Asian food. Harrison ate a chewy green jelly ball full of disgusting soy sauce and sugar but he couldn't spit it out because he was at Raffles!

Before we went back we met up with Harriet and her family to do the open top bus trip up and down Orchard Road to see the Christmas lights. It takes 100,000 hours to put all of the lights up.

Pink Dolphins!

Sasha, Niamh, Katie, Sam and I.

Watching the pink dolphins.

I have been really looking forward to today. We are swimming with pink dolphins! We had to be there for 9.15 which was a struggle as we are all used to going to bed late and getting up late.

We went into the lagoon wearing life jackets so that we didn't need to kick our legs to float. The trainer showed us how to teach the dolphins to do a pirouette, wave with a fin and do a somersault. We all had a go at being kissed, shaking hands and being towed along holding onto the fin. Then we got out of the water and did some more tricks, and the dolphin painted a picture by holding a paint brush in it's mouth. It was amazing.

Afterwards we watched a dolphin show, and then went back to our hotel, where we played in the pool all afternoon. It was sunny for the first time since my family arrived. I have got bruises from going down the pool slides so many times.

In the evening we had another go on the luge and then went in the cable car to the main land. It was windy and the cable car was swinging around a lot. It took us over the building site where they are building a new Universal Studios and a casino on Sentosa, and all of the diggers were still working even though it was dark.

We went to Clarke Quay for supper where there are loads of really cool bars and restaurants. Sasha and I wanted to go to a bar where you sit in wheel chairs or on hospital beds and the lights are like the ones in operating theatres, but my mum said that the drinks there were too expensive. We met with Katie and her mum and had rice and peppered crab for dinner in a seafood restaurant where they caught the crabs and the fish from the tanks in the middle of the restaurant and then they cooked them in a kitchen with glass walls so you could see them kill the fish!

We were all really tired but we couldn't find a taxi anywhere and eventually we had to go on the MRT to get to the apartment. Pat has been out for dinner to Raffles with some friends and they came back to the boys apartment for a chat with us before we finally went to bed at 11.30pm.

Sunday 2nd Dec

Katie and I were off today and we were allowed out at 12pm. I went to Singapore Zoo with my family and it was the most amazing zoo with virtually every animal in the world. The elephants had a big container of bananas hanging from a tree over their lake with only a little hole in it. They had to bang it with their trunks to get the bananas out and then fish in the lake for them. There were loads of different monkeys and chimpanzees. It took ages to get a taxi back and by then we were really hot so we went straight back to the hotel for a swim with Katie.
For supper we had the hotel buffet and I had 6 courses.
We are all allowed out over night tonight and it was so nice to go to bed next to my sister.

Sam and Niamh were performing today and there was nearly a disaster as a spark from the sweet making machine went into Caractacus's eye. They said he kept rubbing his eye for the rest of the first scene and dropped lots of lines which is not like him at all.
Marissa was off again so Kimberley had to play Truly Scrumptious again. Things always seem to go wrong on Sam and Niamh's nights; one night one of the dogs fell into the orchestra pit as it was trying to jump into the audience. It was one of the big Retrievers so it is lucky no one got hurt. Dogs aren't ever allowed off the leash in Singapore so they must find it strange to be allowed to run loose on the stage.

Seeing the show. Saturday 1st Dec

Katie and I are understudying the performing pair, Sam and Niamh, today but we are going to be allowed to watch the matinee with our parents as we haven't seen it yet. We sat near the back of the stalls and had a really good view of the whole stage. Niamh's mum cried as it was the first time she had seen Niamh on stage as Jemima.
We were all allowed to go out for tea together afterwards, and then we went to a shop that sold nothing but Croc shoes.
Katie's dad and brother fly home to England tonight and Katie's mum is moving to the Rasa Sentosa hotel where my family have been staying.

Friday 30th November

Tutoring was cancelled this morning to sort out a problem between Sam and I. We will have to catch up on the tutoring with extra time next week as the authorities are very strict on making sure that we do 15 hours each week.
As well as our normal work Fran has been spending time with us all together since we don't have assemblies or anything like that her. She has taught us the capital city for every country in the world, all of the American states, the kings of England from 1066 and the works of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters. It hasn't been that hard to learn as we are all good at learning our lines, and it isn't much different.
In the afternoon we went to a Padong restaurant near our apartment with Katie and her family, and then to Chinatown to see a Buddhist temple. Then we went on the Duck Tour again where they showed us Singapore from the water and the land.
Sasha is going with Harriet's family to see Harriet and Harrison in the show tonight as they have got a spare ticket. We all snuck into the pool at their hotel before they went. It is a really smart hotel but Niamh is staing there too and she says it is like Vulgaria as children aren't allowed in any of the restaurants except one.

Afternoon off. Thursday 29th.

We are allowed out for the afternoon with our parents so we went all the way to Changi on the MRT to the Wild Wild Wet water park with Niamh, as her parents don't arrive until tonight. It was great fun and they had a foam pool that blew thick foam all over you.
We got back in time to meet with Katie and her family in Fish & Co which is my favourite restaurant. Just after we had ordered Niamh's parents arrived and they all cried. It is nice that all of the parents are here now.

Performing. Tuesday 27th.

Tony Adams - Grandpa Potts

Tonight my family and Katie's family came to watch the show. Tony Adam's, who plays Grandpa Potts, said that it was the best audience there has been in Singapore so far. That is probably because our mums and dads were being so embarrassing!

There are several changes to the script here so that the audience understand it and it doesn't upset them. They have changed the joke about owls and the bit where the Baron kisses a spy, which is a shame as in Southampton everyone lauged at those bits.

Katie's Stagecoach principal has come out for 3 days to see her, and they all went back to her apartment in the Mandarin Oriental for a drink afterwards, until nearly 2 in the morning!

We aren't allowed to see our parents on performance days, not even at the end of the performance at stage door, so Katie and I won't see them until Thursday, although everone else has been able to go out from 1.30 - 8.30pm today and tomorrow. It is so that we can be well rested for the evening.

Our day out - Monday 26th

With Sasha on the Dragon Walk

Dodging the fountains

It was so nice waking up in my parent's hotel room this morning, and being able to have a big cuddle with Sasha. We had a big breakfast and then went for a long walk down the beach from the hotel to get tickets for tonight's "Sounds of the Sea" show. We went up in the chairlift to the top of Sentosa, then back down on the luge. We walked back along the jungle path and by the time we got back we were so hot we all had to go swimming.

After lunch it poured with rain and there was a thunderstorm so we played table tennis and relaxed in our room. Once the rain had stopped we went to the Merlion and went right up into it's mouth and onto it's head. We then had great fun playing in the fountains and getting soaking wet. It is amazing what you are allowed to do when your parents haven't seen you for a long time!
Niamh's grandparents are flying home tonight so she is spending this evening with us. She was crying her eyes out when they left, but was fine a minute later. We went with Harriet and her family to the luge and all raced down. The Sounds of the Sea was fun, although the actors were miming, and there were huge fountains and images projected onto the images, and fireworks.
We all had to get back to the apartments for 10.30pm, so we went by skyrail to the main land and then on the MRT. We had to show the adults where to go on the MRT. I showed my parents around our apartment and our pool. We were all really tired after such a great day, and I was sad to say good bye again so soon.

Seeing our parents - Sunday 25th

Our parents were allowed to collect us from Stage Door after the show on Sunday night. I knew my parents and sister were arriving that afternoon so I thought that they might watch the show that evening. I looked everywhere in the audience but I couldn't see them. They watched the end of the show from the monitor in the lobby with the other parents instead.

When we saw each other we all cried and hugged. It must have been a funny sight for all of the rest of the cast who were leaving through Stage Door at the same time! I kept hugging my mum, dad and sister all the way back to the hotel and until we finally all went to bed, just before 1am.

Week 5

My parents and sister are in Thailand this week. Harriet's parent and sister were staying near the theatre for a couple of nights but have gone to Indonesia for the rest of the week. Pat had to text them to say when Harriet was going to the theatre so they didn't accidentally bump into them. No one is allowed to see their parents until next Monday as otherwise it wouldn't be fair and it might make the rest of us homesick. Niamh's grandparents and great-grandma went to watch the show on Thursday and Niamh didn't know they would be there. She saw them in the audience and cried as she couldn't go and talk to them. We are all really excited that we will be seeing our families so soon even though it means that it is nearly the end of the trip.

On Friday we had great news. We are being allowed out with our parents overnight on Sunday night so we can spend the whole day with them on Monday. It was a very big surprise for us all and we are so excited. Over the final 2 weeks, on the days we are performing we will stay with Pat and Fran so we can rest, but on the other days we can go out with our parents after tutoring from 1pm until 8.30pm, except at weekends when one pair need to stay in to cover the performing pair.

This weekend Katie and I were on, and did 2 performances a day on Saturday and Sunday. It wasn't as tiring as I thought, but my feet ached a bit at the end of the 4th performance. The sewer kids alternate so that they only do one performance a day. On Sunday night Marissa was ill so her understudy, Kimberley, was on instead. Last weekend when Harriet and Harrison were performing all of the rest of their family were off - Truly, Caractacus and Grandpa. That is realy unsusual as it is rare for anyone to miss a performance, but amazingly everything went smoothly.

Between the shows at weekends we go to restaurants nearby for supper with the chaperone. It is usually an Italian place called Spaghettis or a Japanese restaurant, but our favourite is called Fish and Co. Katie and I are really enjoying trying the different foods here.

Les Miserables

Stagecoach Agency phoned my mum today to offer me an audition for Gavroche in Les Miserables in the West End. It is the role I have always wanted to play, but the audition is while I am still here, and I will be too tall in six months time. It is probably a good thing as I am so lucky to have time off school to play this part, and I can't really ask for more time off now!

My family all leave England today to go to Thailand for a week before coming to see me. They fly in and out of Singapore airport tomorrow, so will only be half an hour away from me.

Last night's performance went really well, although the theatre wasn't nearly as full as last week. We are on again tonight, and as it is a Friday night it should be much busier.

Posh boys

Pat has called this photo "Posh boys orff to take tiffin at Raffles".
p.s. I have even washed my hair!

Week 4

Pat has finally got her Skype working! The internet connection isn't fast enough to use a web-cam, but it was nice to be able to speak to my mum from our own apartment. I am not at all homesick, although I know that Sasha is missing me. I am so used to being here that it will seem so strange to go hack home next month.

We have been making scrap books - Fran bought a scrap book out for each of us, which explains why her suitcase was so enormous. I am trying to remember to take photos too.
It rained all day on Monday so we couldn't go to see Songs of the Sea as planned, and had to stay in. It only rains once or twice each week, but when it rains it really pours. The temperature is in the 30's most of the time, and the hottest part of the day is late in the morning. I always take my shirt off and walk around the apartment in just my shorts, but the other boys won't because the girls are there!
Because the heat tires us out so quickly we can't do too much outside, but we are going on plenty of trips while the others are working. We went to the Toy Museum and there was a glass floor which Sam lay on and really freaked Fran out. We went inside the President's house on another day - it is only open 5 days a year so we were really lucky.

Our day off - Monday 12th November

The Merlion on Sentosa Island

The cable car to Sentosa Island.

The Dragon Walk on Sentosa.

We have a day off on Mondays, although we still have to do our 3 hours of school work in the mornings. We went to Sentosa island, which is so close to Singapore that you can get across the water to the island on a really high cable car. There were some enormous stone "mer-lions" - a cross between a mermaid and a lion; the mer-lioness and the mer-cub were on the main land the mer-lion was on Sentosa Island looking back to the main land. They Merlion is enormous, and you can go up inside to seethe view from inside it's mouth or on it's head.

From the Merlion we went on a dragon walk to see all of the brightly coloured mosaic dragons. They have water running down them and lots of little fountains - a bit like the white water rapids at Center Parcs - and there was a toddler playing in the water. It was very tempting to get in there too in this heat.

Week 3

It is our third week here and we have settled into a regular routine of school work, swimming and performing. Now that the run has started we don't do any rehearsals so we are not at the theatre nearly so much. I have been a bit homesick this week, and I am actually missing my sister!

Anne left at the weekend to go back to England and we are all missing her. She was a great chaperone and we have spent a lot of time with her over the past two weeks. It will mean that Pat and Fran are around a bit more now though, which will be nice.

We perform in a rota of 6 performances in a row (including 4 performances over 2 days!), then another pair do 2 performances, and the third pair do 6 performances. It means it is very hard work when you are performing and you have to look after your voice carefully, and then you have a long time to wait until you are on again. Katie and I were last on on Wednesday last week, and not until Thursday and Friday this week.

Now that we are over our jetlag we get up around 9am. I am always the first of the boys to wake up, so I play Nintendo until Pat puts her head around the door to say we can get up. The girls always go down to the restaurant for breakfast, but the boys quite like it when Pat cooks breakfast in the apartment. She had to remind us that she is a chaperone and not a maid! After breakfast we relax for a bit, and then it is three hours of schoolwork. In the afternoon we usually swim, and we have been to look at the shops a few times. There are some amazing shops here. In the evenings if we aren't performing we have supper and usually watch a DVD. We alternate which apartment we are in, and when we are in the girl's apartment they have an early night while the boys sleep on top of Fran's bed until the performing pair get home at about 11.30pm. The boy who has been performing wakes the other two up and leads them up to our room while Pat carries the bags. One night Harrison had his eyes shut the whole way and another night Sam had to walk behind me in case he needed to catch me as I was really dizzy. It is horrible waking up in the night.

Toot Sweets

A photograph of Katie and me doing Toot Sweets with the rest of the cast for Tuesday's press call, published today in a Pakistan newspaper.

Our First Night - Tuesday 6th November

It is our first night, so I am really excited and a little bit nervous, especially as the other JJs will be watching.

Katie and I were allowed to phone home from the dressing room an hour before the performance so that our mum's could wish us good luck. Fran then took us both off and cut our hair - no one warned me that this would be part of the First Night! It is usually the wig man who cuts our hair, as the boys have to have a long traditional style and the girls have to have a short fringe (which they don't really like but it hides the microphone). Fran isn't a hairdresser, although she said that she cuts her own hair.

It is 8pm (12 noon in England) and Katie and I are the only ones on stage, standing side by side in the middle of the stage behind the two huge sliders. The band strike up for the overture which lasts for several minutes, and the audience start clapping along to some of the tunes. We both know the overture really well, and we know as it is getting to the end. Katie reminds me to smile, as sometimes I concentrate too hard and forget to, and then she says "hands". They get all sweaty while we are waiting to go on. I wipe mine on my knickerbocker shorts, she wipes hers on her pinafore and we hold hands. The sliders open to reveal us as the narrator says "Once upon a time, a long time ago..." and we step forward together into the light.

An update from the chaperone: "It all went very well this evening both the children gave an excellent performance and were congratulated by Edward! They were enthusiastically supported by the others who thoroughly enjoyed their evening out at the theatre."

Pat getting me ready before the first show. We wear a harness under our clothes during the first act for the flying scene so I can't bend over properly.

Final rehearsal

Usually, before the first performance, you have a full run through of the scenes you are in (which for us is nearly all of the first half, and parts of the second half), but we did the technical rehearsal last week instead, as they knew that a television crew was coming to the theater to film Katie and me and the rest of the cast doing "Toot Sweets" this afternoon. We had to do it twice, once for photographs and the second time for a video. We are not sure what it is being used for but I hope we will be able to see it. After the filming we ran through the beach scene, but we didn't rehearse anything else.

As well as it being the first night for me and Katie it is the first night for the "Jaguars" team of sewer kids. It is also Press Night, so we need to be sure that it is perfect, and the other Jeremy and Jemima's are coming to watch too.

My parents and sister sent a big teddy wrapped in tissue paper to the theater to give me a good luck hug!

Niamh and Sam's first weekend

As well as the opening night on Friday, Niamh and Sam did the matinee and evening performances on both Saturday and Sunday. English theaters don't usually have performances on Sundays, let alone a matinee and an evening performance. Although the rest of us are understudies for the performing pair we don't have to stay in the theater while they are on, so we spent the whole weekend swimming and watching videos, and doing school work. We also went to Chinatown to look around the shops, which was slightly less boring than shopping in England.

On Monday Sam and Niamh finally got a day off, and we all went to the Singapore Heritage museum to learn about Singapore's history. It was meant to be an educational trip but it was really fun too. Next Monday we are going to the Zoo. I am hoping it is the one with the Night Safari as I went there a few years ago but was too young to remember much.

Photos - the first 2 weeks

Me, Sam, Niamh, Katie, Harrison and Harriet in front of City Hall and the Court House

They let us out after dark too!

Noodles and watermelon water for lunch


Singapore - The First Night

Friday 2nd November - Opening Night. Harriet, Harrison, Katie and I all had the day off from rehearsals so that Niamh and Sam could concentrate on their final rehearsal. Niamh hasn't spoken to her parents since we arrived, but she spoke to them before she went on stage as she was far too excited to get homesick. She got loads and loads of flowers delivered to the theatre, and Sam has got balloons and a bear. Katie, Harriet and I have all had flowers, balloons and teddies delivered too.

The four of us who weren't performing stayed in the apartment and watched the first half of Monster House with Ann who is going to be looking after us while Fran and Pat are in the theatre with the performing pair. Pat is responsible for all of the sewer kids too, and they are training extra chaperones. We went to bed at 9.30pm wondering how Sam and Niamh were getting on, but need not have worried; the theatre was really full and the audience laughed a lot, especially at the "Eastmas" line. The chaperones said that the audience nearly brought the roof down with their cheers when they came on for the curtain call. Lets hope that the rest of the run has good audiences.

The view from the stage

Singapore's Esplanade Theatre - the most amazing theatre I have ever seen.

Singapore - Technical week

So much for a day off on Monday, as we still had to do school. We do our school work all together in the girl's apartment. We choose what we want to do, so I have done a bit of maths and English each day, like at school, and at least one other subject. We study for three hours each day and you get an awful lot done in that time - probably as much as you would in a school day but without the games lessons. Katie has brought much more work than the rest of us, but she is in year 7. Fran comes round to each of us to see what we are doing and to help us.

I spoke to my mum and sister over the internet for the first time since I arrived. We were going to have a Skype web camera but Pat can't get it working at all in the boy's apartment and Fran can only get the microphone working in the girl's apartment. The rest of the cast arrive today, ready for technical rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Tuesday, more schoolwork and a rehearsal with Kevin Kennedy, our new dad. We rehearsed Hushaby Mountain where he tucks us into bed and sings us a lullaby. Katie said that it isn't the same without Craig (McLachlan) who was our dad in Southampton. We saw Dane when we were walking down the road, and we were all really excited to see him, especially the girls.

Katie and I are going to be on Good Morning Singapore on Thursday for a live interview. We are being picked up by limo at 6.40am (how will we wake up that early?) and will have noodles or fried rice in the TV studio before the interview.

Wednesday - Harriet and Harrison are having a day off while Niamh, Sam, Katie and I do technical rehearsal as we are the first two teams on. We are meant to be having an early night so we can get up for the TV interview, but the rehearsal takes a very long time and we don't finish until 10pm and are all really tired. As Harriet and Harrison weren't up late they are going to do the TV interview. Katie and I are a bit disappointed.

Thursday - The TV interview went well for Harriet and Harrison, although the questions were asked in Chinese and they had to wait for it to be translated into English before they could answer.

During today's technical rehearsals the curtain got stuck at the end of the overture, and mage an awful noise. It must have been scary for Sam and Niamh who were waiting behind the slider, ready to step forward for the first scene.

Most rehearsals are done in rehearsal rooms, and it is only on the final days that they have "tech" on stage, to run through everything including the actors, the lighting, the sound systems and most importantly the props. We spent a lot of time doing Toot Sweets because the dogs are not nearly as well trained as the ones in Southampton, and won't go to Lord Scrumptious like they are meant to. On one of the run-throughs of Toot Sweets Kevin Kennedy was standing in the wrong place at the end of the scene as the backdrop for the next scene came in. Leo (Marissa's husband) saw what was about to happen and pushed him out of the way as it could have killed him, and Marissa screamed. Someone hit the emergency button. It was all very scary.

Today's rehearsal went on until 10pm again and we are all getting very tired. Katie got a bunch of flowers from home which really cheered her up.

Singapore - Week 1

Pat had to wake us up at 9.30am nearly every morning this week as we were going to miss breakfast. The hotel breakfast is great; boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, beans, croissants - everything you might want. We spent today just relaxing and looking around. We had a swim in the pool which is on the 9th floor (Fraser - it really is upstairs and it doesn't fall through the floor below!) and went in the jacuzzi. The water is really cold. There are loads of big crows which keep coming and drinking the pool water.

On the third day, Thursday, we went to the theatre for a rehearsal. It was in a rehearsal room as the technical guys are setting up the stage. We rehearsed all of the same things as we had in London, to check we had remembered it all.

We had more rehearsals on the Friday, and on the Saturday there was no rehearsal but we had to do school, even though it was Saturday! We rehearsed again on Sunday - our day off will be Monday here as there will be two performances on Sundays, unlike in England.

We have been given the schedule and Katie and I are doing Press Night! They call in Gala Night here and it is on the Tuesday. Sam and Niamh are doing opening night, which must be scary for Niamh as she hasn't played Jemima before, but great for Sam as he had a long wait for his first performance in Southampton. Harriet and Harrison are doing the last night, so we have all got a special night.

On Sunday we finally met the children's ensemble - the Sewer Kids. There are just two teams, Bentleys and Jaguars, and they don't understudy the Jeremy and Jemima parts as we understudy each other here. Catie had told us all about them, so it was nice to finally meet them. They are from all over the world including America and Australia, and some of them have very strange names, and I think only two are from Singapore. I really get on well with Jack who is from Liverpool - he is just like Fraser.

On Fran and Pat's day off we had a great outing, and definitely our best day so far (sorry Fran and Pat!). We went with Roger, the company Manager, and Ann, a chaperone who was already out here, on a Duck Tour. It was a little bus which drove on the roads, and then straight into the Singapore River. It floats like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and was really cool. We were all given duck whistles.
Katie with Ann (Chaperone) and Roger (Company Manager)

Relaxing in the Jacuzzi on our first day

Going to Singapore

Our flight to Singapore was on 23rd October, and we all met at Heathrow. Sam was crying, and he had been crying since yesterday (sorry Sam for putting this in my diary!). The rest of us were nervous and excited. We went for hot chocolate as we were all so early, and Sam cried. Then the chaperones arrived and we checked in, and Sam only cried a bit. Although it was still quite early our parents all thought we should say goodbye and go through the security gate. Sam cried a bit more, but so did the rest of us a little bit. Then we were through security, we all cheered up, and we were all excited about the flight.

Although the rest of the cast went on Quatar Airline we flew with Singapore Airline as our chaperone, Pat, said we needed a direct flight. We all sat together and watched movies and slept for the 13 hour flight - I watched Grease and The Simpson Movie - but then the TVs stopped working. We were given $75 to spend on whatever we wanted on the plane since we couldn't watch TV! Some of the passengers and crew told the chaperones that we had been very good but it seems normal now for us to behave nicely and quietly.

When we arrived we unpacked and settled into our apartment in the Somerset Grand Cairnhill, where we will live for the next 7 weeks. The boys are in an apartment above the girls with Pat. The girls are with Fran and have a bedroom set up as a school room. After we had unpacked we went to the local Chinese restaurant and I had chicken and rice for supper, then we went back for a long sleep.

London Rehearsals 13th Oct

We didn't need to leave for London until 10am so the boys had loads of time to play in the garden while the girls sat on Sasha's pony and took photos. My mum's horse trod on Harriet's foot but luckily didn't break it!

We had a photo taken of all 8 of us together since today will be the last time we see Jessica and Fraser for a while. There was a bad car crash outside Pat's hotel and the whole road was closed so we only just got to the train in time.We rehearsed all of the second act today, but Catie wasn't feeling well so we finished a bit early.

The train back to Southampton took ages and Fraser and I kept getting told off for giggling. We made loads of video clips on our phones. I am really going to miss him in Singapore as he has become such a good friend. It is a shame he and Jess can't come too. It won't be the same without them.

London Rehearsals 12th Oct

I woke up just after 6am to a kicking match with Fraser. We had been sleeping head to toe in the same bed. All the boys had a shower first, and Harrison hadn't ever had a shower before. The girls took ages getting showered and dressed, but once we had had breakfast we all went out to feed the horses and chickens and walk the dogs before going to pick up Pat and catch the train. After we all got so hungry yesterday, Mum sent me with a huge back-pack of snacks for us all to eat.

Today's rehearsals were in a dance studio in London, and we saw (and heard) Connie Fisher from Sound of Music. She has got an amazing voice. We continued working through all of the songs and dances. The biggest change in Singapore will be because some of the sliders (with the big pieces of scenery) can't go off the same side as they did in Southampton. Part of the sweet factory scene is reversed, so the changes are quite tricky to remember. It is nice to rehearse in a proper studio, although it is quite tatty. Pat found us a great place for lunch, and after working hard all day we got home at 8pm, still stuffing ourselves with the fantastic fruit salads she had found us in the station - I think she is feeling bad about feeding us nothing but bread rolls and doughnuts yesterday.

We all had a jacuzzi in the evening - the boys went first because the girls took so long to get changed. We had a big supper then went to bed. Sasha was allowed to sleep in the girls room with them, but she and Jessica couldn't get to sleep and were still giggling at 11pm.

London Rehearsals 11th Oct

It is nearly a month since I have seen the other Jeremy and Jemima's, and Pat our chaperone, so we were all very excited to see each other at Southampton station this morning, even though it was strange without Shannon as she is the only one of the original 8 not continuing. All 8 JJ's are rehearsing - Catie, the children's director has said that Fraser and Jessica need to be ready at a moments notice even though they are not travelling out with us.

It took ages to get to the rehearsal hall in London by train and taxi, and then we had to work really hard all day with almost nothing to eat as there were no shops or restaurants anywhere near. We rehearsed with Phil, the children's musical director, and with Catie, going over everything from before and all of the changes that are being made for Singapore. They were pleased that we had all remembered everything.

We had to stand up most of the way back to Didcot until enough people got off, and then shared a couple of seats. Katie was going very white as she was so tired and hungry.
We are all staying at our house and Pat is staying in a hotel near Didcot station, as it is much closer to London than everyone going back to their own houses. It was after 9pm when we got home, and then we had a mad rush for everyone to choose a bed, phone their Mum and eat supper so that we weren't too late for bed. It was great fun as Fraser, Sam, Harrison and I were all in my room, and Katie, Niamh, Harriet and Jessica were in Sasha's room. We were all asleep within about 10 minutes, even though I had Fraser's feet in my face!

Photos - Time off during rehearsal week

Katie, Jessica, Harriet, Niamh
Adam, Fraser, Harrison, Sam

Harriet and a chick!

2nd August - The Email!

We have had an email from Jo Hawes.

It said "I am delighted to be able to tell you at last that the children who are going to Singapore will be Samuel, Harrison, Harriet, Katie, Adam and Niamh."

I was so amazed that I read the email twice before I believed it. I am so excited. I can't believe that all of the children chosen are from Southampton. It must be because we are all friends already so they know that we get on with each other. Fraser and Jessica are going to be understudies and will do all of the rehearsals with us but will then stay in England unless one of us has to come home. It is a real shame that they can't take all 8 of us.

We had to do a press call with Kevin Kennedy who will be playing our dad, Caractacus Potts. He used to play "Curly Watts" on Coronation Street and has played the part of The Childcatcher in Chitty. Craig McLachlan, who has been playing Caractacus, is the only person from Southampton who isn't going to go to Singapore.

26th July - Still waiting

Mrs Forest came to watch this afternoon's performance with her husband and asked whether we had found out anything about Singapore yet. I thought she would be secretly hoping I didn't get the part so that I didn't miss school but I think she is as excited as me. I can't believe it is taking so long for Jo to decide who is going to get the part.

July 5th - Audition day

Niamh's audition went well. She said there were 12 children there, from Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol, including two who are Mary Poppins at the moment, so they must be really good. 5 of the children were told "no" straight away. That must have been very hard since they have all been playing the part.

Usually at the end of the audition you are told who has got the part, but they told them that they would find out in a few days. That must be because they need to compare the Southampton children to the ones that auditioned today. In the meantime Katie and I are making sure we give every performance our very best. You never know who might be watching! I can't wait to find out.

Singapore auditions

We found out today that the auditions are in London tomorrow, but Katie and I will be performing. None of the Southampton JJ's have been asked to audition, except for Niamh who is a cover. Just when we were thinking that we out of the running, Jo sent an email saying that all of the Southampton JJs are being considered, and she asked for a letter from the school in case we are offered the part. I am so nervous in case my headmistress, Mrs Forest, says no.

My Mum and Dad talked to me about all of the reasons not to go to Singapore to make sure that I was certain that I really wanted to go. I am a bit worried about missing so much school work, especially in Year 5, and missing choir, but even with that I really, really want to go. It will be nice to have the chance to perform in another country, but most of all it will mean that I can carry on playing this part for longer. I am glad that I am Katie's partner as she wants to go as much as me, and neither of us will back out and let the other one down.

Shannon doesn't want to go, so she isn't going to go through to the final selection, and Sam wasn't sure to start with because he got homesick in Bristol, but decided it was too good a chance to miss. All of the other JJs from Southampton want to go, and am sure that all of the JJs from the other venues are desperate to get the part too, so there will be seven JJs from Southampton, one understudy (Niamh) and 12 others from all over the UK who have played the part and have now been selected by Catie for the final audition. They are taking three pairs of Jeremys and Jemimas and choosing a pair to be covers too. I can't wait until tomorrow's auditions are over and we finally find out.


Before I started playing the part of Jeremy I knew that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was going on tour to Singapore when it finished in Southampton. Jo Hawes told my mum that they would be choosing sewer kids from Singapore, but taking children to play Jeremy and Jemima from England. She said that they would choose from the Jeremy and Jemimas who had already played the part, because they wouldn't need so many rehearsals and because the chaperones would have had a chance to look after them overnight during rehearsals to check they didn't get homesick.
Catie is going to choose from the JJs all over the UK to decide who goes to London for the final audition. I hope she chooses Katie and I.

Katie's birthday

It is Saturday 4th August and it is Katie's 11th birthday. We have two performances today so she can't have a party. She brought in a huge cake to share with everyone, and when Craig saw her he picked her up over his shoulder and carried her up the stairs singing "Happy Birthday". During warm-up Phil suddenly started playing "Happy Birthday" and while we were on stage Craig kept humming it to her when no one else could hear.
Between matinee and evening performances the chaperones always take us to The Encore for a meal, but today mine and Katie's parents were waiting at Stage Door. They asked us and the two covers, Ella and Jordan, to go to the front of the theatre and there was a huge stretched limo waiting for us. We drove around Southampton for a while and then went to join the others for tea. It was a brilliant day and I think Katie will always remember this bithday.

Rehearsals in Southampton

Me, Shannon, Sam and Ella rehearsing "Toot Sweets" in Southampton.

From left, Ben, Jessica, Fraser, Katie, me, Shannon, Sam.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Southampton

The team of Jeremy and Jemimas and understudies in Southampton.

West End at last

Waiting for Godot is going to The New Ambassadors Theatre in the West End of London, and Joshua and I got to play the part of the Boy for the final month!

West End at last!!

Each day I was performing I got on the train straight after school to go to London. I slept on the train some days so that I wasn't too tired, and arrived at the theatre by 6pm, and then went out to eat. I was paid £22.90 per performance, but I had to pay for my own expenses. My parents chaperoned me, and I had my own tiny dressing room. I spent most of the time in the Green Room, doing homework, watching "Cirque de Celebrite" and "Braniac" on TV and chatting with the understudies and everyone else who was in there. It was really friendly and the understudies, Mark and Declan, helped me to rehearse.

Cordelia was keen that we "made the part our own" and by the end of the run in London Joshua and I were playing the part in very different ways.

Senaria was the wardrobe mistress and she had to put brown make-up on my hands, feet and face to make me look dirty. You need loads of make-up for it to show under the lights. It was Senaria who told me about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as she is going to be working on it after Godot.

After one of the shows I was introduced to the director Sir Peter Hall and Harold Pinter, the famous playwright, who had been watching me that evening.

Waiting for Godot - July 2006

Julia asked if I would like to audition for a part Oxford's Playhouse called "Waiting for Godot". At the audition we were asked if we knew what the play was about and one of the boys said thet he had heard it was the most boring play ever. That probably wasn't a good thing to say.

We had to read from a script and do an Irish accent.

Joshua and I got the part, and were given a script to learn with over 50 lines, most of which were "Yes Sir", "I don't know Sir" and "No Sir". We only had a couple of rehearsals, so it was lucky that we were both good at learning lines.

The play has 4 main characters and the Boy, and it is a bit of a boring play, as it is about two men talking while they wait for Godot (whoever he is), and Godot never actually arrives.

Joshua and I did alternate performances and we had our own huge dressing room, which was great as I had a sleeping bag and would arrive straight from school, do my homework and then have a sleep for 20 minutes before the show. I didn't see much of the cast, except on stage, as they were all in the Green Room below the stage.

My little sister Sasha came to watch and she sat in the front row. It must have been very boring for her, but she always likes to come and see me on stage. One of the cast said they have never seen anyone so young watching the play and look like they were enjoying it!

Garsington Opera

On Thurday and Friday evenings and on Sunday mornings I rehearse and sing with the Radley College choir as one of their 16 very lucky choristers.
Some of us were asked to be evil dancing dwarves for Mozarts "Philosopher's Stone" at Garsington Opera for 2 weeks in June 2006. It was a really fun role with some amazing singers, but it was all sung in German so I didn't really understand too much of it. Performing at Garsington was strange as the stage is in the open air.


Megan, who was in An Inspector Calls with me, played Jane Banks in Mary Poppins in the West End., and goes to the same Stagecoach as me.
We were very excited when Julia, our Stagecoach Principal, said she would like us to sing the "Perfect Nanny" duet with a group called the "Westenders" who were coming to Banbury.
Unfortunately, a week before the performance, Megan broke her wrist and was put in a plaster cast. Luckily the producers decided that as she could have long sleeves hiding the plaster cast we could still perform.
The day before the performance I hurt my arm playing football. It didn't feel too bad so I went to choir as usual and played cricket, but the next morning it really hurt. On the way to Stagecoach we went to have it checked out in hospital. It was broken!
Both Megan and I did the performance that night with our arms in plaster casts. We must have been a funny sight!


After getting so close to playing the part of Tiny Tim in Scrooge at The Palladium I was excited when the auditions came to Oxford as I knew I had a good chance .. and then my Mum measured me. I was nearly 2 inches over the height limit. I was auditioned for various parts, but only really suited the character of Tiny Tim, although I was too tall. At the end of the audition almost all of us were asked to come back the next day as no decision had been made. I was delighted to be chosen, along with a boy called George, and rehearsals started straight away.

The rehearsals went well, but the director, David Steadman, was not happy as George and I were both too tall, but the understudy Ethan, was only 6 and had not been in a show before. He overturned the casting and asked for a DVD to be made showing all of the cast, and then George, Ethan and I went to a recording studio to have a recording of each of us singing the Tiny Tim solo "On a Beautiful Day" so that Mr Steadman could see the DVD, listen to the recordings and then choose between the three of us and a boy in Solihull who was currently playing the part. I was really upset, and it was a very long 2 weeks while we waited as David Steadman went off for the Christmas break without making a decision. It felt like forever. Just before I went on stage for the last performance of Wizard of Oz Maya got the news. Ethan and I were in, with George as an understudy. Even though I was about to go on stage I cried as I was so happy.

I loved playing the part, although it was a bit scary standing on one leg on the table with my crutch, singing "On a Beautiful Day". On my first night Julia reminded me that Tim is meant to be ill so it wouldn't matter if my voice wobbled, and she and my mum watched from the wings. I think they were more nervous than me so they watched David Steadman's face on the monitor and when he smiled they knew it was alright!

I was really lucky as I did Opening Night and Press Night. Ethan got so nervous that he was sick so I did some of his performances too, but Maya was great and organised an extra rehearsal on stage so he was more confident in what he was doing. He ended up loving it.

Some of the cast were lovely and came up to our dressing room, but some of them were a bit grumpy. Apparently it was because it was so cramped backstage and we kept getting in their way, so we spent a lot of time hiding behind scenery to keep out of their way. My mum taught the boys sign language so they had something to do. We all learnt how to sign "Bog off Bob" for whenever Bob Cratchit walked past. Shane Richie played Scrooge, and we didn't really get to see him off stage. After the last performance he shook my hand and said "It was nice working with you mate", but he probably didn't even know my name.

Wizard of Oz - December 2005

Although I was a year under the age limit, Julia let me audition for the Wizard of Oz, which was coming to Oxford's New Theatre for a month over Christmas. As I was only doing the audition for the experience I was surprised to be offered the part of one of the three "Lollipop Guild".
We were only on stage for about 10 minutes, and then again for the curtain call, so we spent a lot of time in the dressing room. Maya played lots of games with us and did some really fun warm-ups, including getting us all singing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" when it came on over the intercom from the stage.
We had really weird outfits and lots of make-up; I am on the second row of the photo wearing a red tartan shirt with a strange rubber wig to make me look bald!
Amanda Barrie from "Coronation Street" and "Bad Girls" played the witch and she was really nice, and kept sending chocolates up to our dressing room and gave us some pens and tee-shirts to decorate for her. All of the cast were really nice to us.
On the last day we went to Laser Quest between the matinee and the evening performance. The staff were hoping for free tickets to see the show so they gave us loads of pizza, chips and drinks. As soon as we started doing the warm-up for the evening performance we realised what a mistake it had been to eat and drink so much! I don't think they got their free tickets.

Search for Tiny Tim

My dad heard an interview on the radio with Tommy Steele who was going to be playing the lead in "Scrooge" at The Palladium over Christmas. He mentioned that the producers were doing a nationwide "Search for Tiny Tim". I was one of the 500 chosen from the postal entries to be called for an audition in London, and with such competition I was amazed to get a call back for the next day. 10 of us were there for the final which was held in Hamley's toy shop. They had it set up like the X Factor, and at one end there was a table with three judges, Tommy Steele and a whole bank of cameras, and at the other end was each of us in turn, in front of a microphone. I had never used a microphone before, and we had to sing a solo and recite a piece of script. By the time it was my turn I was really nervous and didn't perform well. I was not surprised that I didn't get the part but I was proud to have reached the finals.
The other 8 finalists and I went to watch the show as VIPs and were taken backstage to meet some of the cast and to see how they do some of the illusions. Daniel, who won the part, went on to play Michael Banks in Poppins.

An Inspector Calls

Since I was tiny I loved to sing and dance, and when I was six I joined Stagecoach. I had no ambition to be on stage, I just enjoyed the classes. A year later my Stagecoach Principal Julia asked me to audition for "An Inspector Calls" as they needed a small thin boy who would do as he was told and could sit still. I was amazed to be offered the role, and had great fun with Megan, Tom and Joey, and the children's director Joe Crawley, learning the part, especially since Joe told us we had to stand completely still and watch television for 20 minutes every night, to practise keeping still!

The role involved being the first onto the stage at the beginning, playing with the other three children in the rain (and it actually rained on stage) and stopping the curtain coming down for the interval. I was on stage for nearly half of the performance, most of the time just standing or sitting very still beside the main character. At the end I had to stand up very high in the pretend house, looking out at the audience. The only thing that I found difficult was the smoke from the dry ice which made my nose really itchy when I had to sit still; I would count backwards from 100 until it stopped itching and the other children would bet how far I counted each night, which was all the way to 6 one time.

When I came off the stage after the first performance I said that I wanted to do this every day for the rest of my life.