Thursday 11th February 2010 by C. Freeman
James Barry has just enjoyed the highlight of his singing career so far; performing for an audience of thousands at the O2 arena. James was picked to play the part of Oliver during the 'Voice in a Million' show. He went through rounds of auditions with theatre production company 'West End Kids' before landing the dream part.
Hours of rehearsals then followed before the performance when he and others playing the Artful Dodger and Nancy sang a medley of songs from the classic musical, accompanied by a choir of 5,000 children.
James from Year 8 said: 'Voice in a Million is trying to record a million singers at different venues throughout the UK raising money for the British Association of Adoption and Fostering. The O2 show was the first in the series and there were different slots, solos singers and our Oliver medley which lasted about 15 minutes. It was a real thrill performing for such a large audience, especially as I had just watched the National Television Awards which was staged at the same venue and it seemed huge! I sang 'Where is Love' which started the whole Oliver thing off and then it blended into 'Consider Yourself' which blended into a bit of Nancy's song then 'I'd Do Anything'. At the end all of the parts from Oliver came in together, it sounded really good.'
James's family and best friend were in the audience for his big moment and he was also interviewed by the BBC who showed a clip of him in action on the regional news programme, Look East. He is now rehearsing for a show about the work of Dr Barnardo which is being staged at Market Harborough in March and his recent appearance at the O2 has made him more determined to pursue a singing career: 'I definitely now know what I want to do when I'm older. It was really good fun taking part in the concert and I made lots of friends. It was great singing in front of such a big audience.'
A gallery of pictures from the event is available on the Westendkids Flickr website.