Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

First West End role for graduate

Evelyn Hoskins
Castings for the production included learning songs and rehearsing scenes

A Somerset graduate has landed a part in the West End playing the schoolgirl Thea in the British production of the American musical Spring Awakening.

Evelyn Hoskins attended Preston Primary, Preston school and Yeovil College before studying acting at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth.

Ms Hoskins will make her debut at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre on 23 January 2009.

The production received eight Tony Awards during its Broadway run.

Spring Awakening is set against a backdrop of religious and parental repression in 19th Century Germany.

Nail-biting wait

Based on the Frank Wedekind play of 1891, it tells the story of young friends on a voyage of personal discovery and sexual awakening.

Following almost a year of castings, Evelyn was selected for the part after attending a week-long workshop at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre with the director, Michael Mayer, and other prospective cast members.

"We had to learn songs from the production and rehearse scenes together. It was unbelievably tough and very intense, but one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had in my life," she said.

"They took the video of us all back to the United States for the creative team over there to look at and to make the final decision."

After an additional nail-biting week, Evelyn received the news that she had won the part.

"I have never been so nervous in my life," she said. "When I finally heard the news that I had got the part I was in shock."

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