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School of Rock The Musical: Asia Tour

“I’m not tired,” 13-year-old actress and singer Grace Nettle declared as she prepared to be interviewed from South Korea at midnight. The excitable teen star, who comes from Port Talbot, is currently away from home because she's starring in the international tour of School of Rock the Musical, which is based on the 2003 film with Jack Black.

In the tour Grace is playing three parts – Chanel, Sophie, and Summer Hathaway – and according to her it has been a dream come true. “Acting was just always something I was interested in,” she said. “My mum worked in my school with another lady who worked with my agency and she suggested it to me and I joined when I was four years old and I've been with this agency ever since.” 

The agency in question, Mark Jermin Management, is based in Swansea and represents a number of different adult and child actors. In fact a self-tape request from her agency led to Grace landing a role in School of Rock in the first place. 


Grace said: “I got a self-tape through from my agency and then I went to the recalls in London and got asked to stay behind. We just sang Summer’s solo a few times in different ways. I got an announcement from my agency saying that I’d got the role and I was crying a lot.”

Despite being overjoyed that she’d landed a role in the musical, which had its world premiere in 2015, Grace wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it at first. She said: “I told them like a week before I left [to go to South Korea] when I was allowed to. It was all a bit chaotic when I did actually have to leave.” 

Grace will be away from home with her mum – whom she called her "taxi driver" – until Octoberand following the show’s run in South Korea she’ll be touring China as well. When asked whether she was missing home Grace said she was “a little bit” before adding: “Just my friends and family but not Wales itself.”

And why would she? Grace summed up the opening night of School of Rock as “incredible”. She said: “We actually didn't know who was going to be on opening night until quite late on so the suspense was killing all of [the cast] because we wanted to know who was on. It was truly incredible and one of the best shows I've ever been in actually.” According to the young actor, who has also previously starred in Doctor Who, War of the Worlds, and the film No Way Up, she “can’t understand anything” anyone says to her in South Korea though she has learned some language basics. Unfortunately for Grace her role in the show has not meant that she’s been able to let her school work slide and she still has daily tutoring so that she doesn’t fall behind on her education. 

When quizzed on where she’d like to see her career take her next Grace said she has her sights on another musical. “When I grow up I'd love to be in Legally Blonde but that's obviously not something I could play right now,” she said. WALES ONLINE Read More



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