TEACHING assistant Alex Ward will take to the stage next week to perform the lead role in The Sound of Music - even though she only expected to be given a minor part.
The 23-year-old from Collingham, will star as Maria von Trapp from March 6 to March 17 at the world famous York Theatre Royal.
Alex, who has been singing since she was three years old, auditioned for the role in York Light Opera Company’s amateur production after finding out about it on the internet last Autumn.
But she admitted that she was not expecting to be chosen for the lead role.
“I was really surprised.
“They rung me the same day as the audition and I was not expecting it as it was going into a new theatre group that I hadn’t worked with before.
“It is such a big part and they didn’t even know me.”
“I thought I would maybe get the part of the older Von Trapp daughter Liesl because I look young for my age - but not Maria.”
Alex, a former pupil at St Aidans’ Church of England School in Harrogate, plays the piano to Grade 8 and completed a music degree at the University of Leeds.
She says their are a few similarities between herself and her famous stage character.
“We are really similar, she liked children and that’s what I do for my job so it makes it easier to play her.”
“There are only two or three scenes that I am not in so it is a demanding role, but I am not nervous about singing as I am so used to it.
“The acting is more of a challenge than anything.”
Also challenging will be the fact that during the intense run Alex will continue her full-time teaching assistant role at St Aidan’s Church of England High School in Harrogate.
Alex, who performed a solo on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise in 2006 after her school were winners of the prize for Senior School Choir in 2006, credits her mum for her success so far.
She said: “I didn’t have singing teachers when I was younger, everything I know, up until university, I was taught by my mum.”
Mum Jo is a music teacher at Primrose Lane School in Boston Spa, and dad Derek, a managing director of a Wetherby recruitment company, are also both good singers.
To book tickets visit http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/shows/sound_of_music.php