A WEST End star visited children in Malmesbury at the weekend for a masterclass in theatre and performance.
Natasha Jayetileke, who played Nala and Sarabi during her two years performing in the hit musical Lion King, worked with youngsters between the ages of four and 10 as part of Shine on Stage Theatre School’s series of events at The Activity Zone.
Mrs Jayetileke, who has performed in the West End in Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, took props and costumes from the show including a puppet head of the character Pumba and pieces of costume for the character Nala.
Alice Jackson, a classically trained actress who taught Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson to dance for The Other Boleyn Girl, said: “She showed them bits of costume and props from the show, which they loved and were enthralled by.
“The older group loved it too and had lots of questions about not only the story but also about the production and back stage.
“We want them to be inspired and to be thinking about the bigger picture; not just their performance but about how it all works and how a show is put together.”
Youngsters were taught two songs from the show, I Just Can’t Wait To Be King and He Lives In You.
One of the Stage School pupils, nine-year-old Benedict Garlick, said: “It was amazing. It was incredible to meet Simba’s mum.”
Mrs Jayetileke was invited to attend as she is a friend and fellow performer of Mrs Jackson’s husband, Jeff Nicholson.
Shine on Stage launched five weeks ago and children aged 11 and over are invited to sign up.