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Clara goes from busking on street to London theatre for top musical

By Angela Rainey

Published 29/02/2016

Clara Sharvin with her mum Judith
Clara Sharvin with her mum Judith
Clara with her friends, twins Catherine and Maria McStay

A young busker from Downpatrick will be treading the boards in London after landing a theatrical role.

Clara Sharvin beat stiff competition from 1,200 others to be cast in World War One musical The Battle Of Boat at London's National Youth Music Theatre.

The 12-year-old, who has been described as "a raw talent" by scouts in the industry, says she was over the Moon when she took the call from producers saying she had nailed the audition.

"I was just getting out of the shower when the phone rang," said Clara, a Year 8 pupil at Assumption Grammar School in Co Down.

"When I heard they were on the phone I just thought to myself: 'Oh well, I didn't get it'.

"But then the woman said: 'No Clara, you did get it!' I just couldn't believe it."

The pupil, who has never had a singing or acting lesson, wowed impresarios with her big voice and dramatic performance.

She will go to London in April to find out which role she will be performing in the production.

And it's a success well earned for Clara, who last year battled the painful condition pancreatitis, staying in hospital for three months. She now takes nine tablets a day and lives on a low fat diet to control her symptoms.

But despite her illness Clara, who plays guitar, piano, accordion and cello, can be found busking in Belfast city centre.

And it seems the public really enjoyed her singing, proven by her earnings of £250 in just two hours recently.

But Clara - whose influences vary from Guns n' Roses and Justin Bieber to Beyonce - takes it all in her stride.

"I never get nervous because I love it so much," said Clara, who auditioned for Britain's Got Talent at the tender age of seven.

"I am really excited to get the part, I can't wait to go there and get started and find out what part I will be playing."

Mum Judith (34) added: "It's such a great opportunity for her to learn from the best in the industry and maybe from this she can decide whether she wants to go that path in the future."

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