Fence girl (10) stars in ‘Matilda - The Musical’ in West End

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A TALENTED Pendle starlet is appearing in her fifth West End production - at the age of 10!

Ava Merson-O’Brien (right), who lives in Fence, is playing the part of Amanda Thripp in the multi-Olivier Award winning Royal Shakespeare Company production of “Matilda - The Musical”, based on the story by Roald Dahl at the Cambridge Theatre.

One of the highlights of her role will be being thrown over a fence by her pigtails by one of the show’s principal characters.

Ava has previously appeared in shows such as “Carousel” and “Les Miserables” and last year played the part of a Munchkin in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” at the London Palladium.

The 10-year-old, who is a dance student at the Angela Westwell School of Dance in Clitheroe, joined the cast of the production last month and will remain in the show until August.

She is a member of one of three teams of eight children who each play for two nights before taking a break.

Ava’s mum Krysia said that home-educated Ava was enjoying her time in the show very much.

“Matilda”, which was originally a hit 1996 film starring Danny DeVito, tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, an extremely intelligent girl with a bright personality. However, her father and mother are irresponsible parents who would rather focus on their work and their leisure time than Matilda.

At the age of four, after her father refuses to buy her a book, Matilda starts visiting the library. She absorbs knowledge like a sponge, but her bookishness damages her relationship with her father.

After being tormented by her father, she sets two revenges on him - she bleaches his hair from black to blonde by replacing his hair oil with peroxide, and she glues his hat on, on the day when he demonstrates his motoring abilities to Matilda’s brother, Michael, who is just bad as Matilda’s parents.

The pranks make Matilda’s father so angry that he tears up Matilda’s library book. But when he forces her to watch TV with the rest of the family, she unintentionally makes the TV explode, the first sign she has mental powers.

The next day, Matilda’s father enrols her at Crunchem Hall Elementary School, where the children are terrorised by the school’s principal, a former athlete named Miss Agatha Trunchbull, against whom the children’s parents conveniently refuse to press charges.

After being told stories about Miss Trunchbull by two other pupils, Matilda realises she is in a bad situation. This is reinforced as Miss Trunchbull hammer-throws Amanda over a fence for having pigtails, though she lands safely in a flower bed.

The RSC production of “Matilda -The Musical” scooped seven awards at the 2012 Olivier Awards last month, more than any show has won before.