Seeing the West End show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory two years ago was a light bulb moment for Leighton schoolboy Elliot Morris.
“I was only seven when I went and I knew I wanted to be Charlie,” he says simply.
In fact, so enamoured was the Year 4 Pulford School student of Raold Dahl’s deliciously dark tale that he persuaded his mum to enrol him in a Charlie’s school workshop at the Umbrella Rooms in the heart of London’s theatreland on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Elliot – who’s about to go on tour as Jeremy in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – put his name down for all seven of the classes.
He said: “There were about 20 of us to start with and we all had to do some singing, dancing and acting.
“I got down to the last six and then I was cut.”
He admits he was really disappointed but adds philosophically: “I knew there were lots of other things I could do because mum gets messages from casting directors about what’s going on and tells me where I need to be.”
He was absolutely thrilled to land the role of Jeremy in one of the world’s favourite musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – mainly because he’ll be appearing in the Newscastle production.
Elliot confesses: “I’ve always wanted to stay away from home and when mum told me it was a tour I really wanted to do it. I’m on for three days and then I’ll have six days off.”
Considering he’s still only nine, this talented young performer already has quite an impressive theatrical CV.
He said proudly: “I was Gavroche in Les Mis at Stantonbury Campus in Milton Keynes and I also took part in Fagin’s Gang at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable.”
He loves everything about the experience, save one.
“I really don’t like make-up,” he admits sheepishly, wrinkling his nose.
He’s currently taking modern dance classes and his dual ambitions are to appear on TV and star in Billy Elliott.
Elliot’s first brush with fame came on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show in the Kids Get a Fanfare secion.
“It was when I was younger and having my first recorder lesson ever,” he explains.
“I’m really good at it now.”
Catch Elliot in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Milton Keynes Theatre from tonight (May 10) until Saturday Call the Box Office on 0844 871 7652.