Ben is new star of hit musical

A 22-year-old from Selston has landed himself a role in London’s famous West End musical, MAMMA MIA!

Ben Astle said hearing the news he had the part in the show – which has now been running for an impressive 14 years – was ’amazing’.

“It was amazing. Just the best thing,” he said.

“It all seemed so far away. I had been training for five years and doing unpaid work, and now to be paid for doing something I love is unreal.

“All I have ever wanted to do is entertain people so there’s nothing better,” he added.

But Ben, who started in his role on June 10, said it was ‘mentally and physically draining’.

“It’s very tough. Your have to put your absolute maximum into everything. You can’t go out there and be half-hearted,” he said.

Ben sees his future in musical theatre and wants to move in to film and television later in life.

He trained at Arts Education Schools in Hertforshire and went on to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.

Now running at the Novello Theatre, this month saw its biggest cast change to date.

MAMMA MIA! originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999.

The London production has now been seen by more than one in 10 of the entire UK population. It is one of only five musicals to have run for more than 10 years both on Broadway and in the West End.