School of Rockstar Austyn
Austyn Emmanuelle is currently starring as Billy in the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in Drury Lane, alongside former Hear’Say member Noel Sullivan.
Austyn who perfects his dance technique at BPM Dance Academy, appeared in his first show at the age of five and performed in Jack at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton.
However dance academy teachers said the jump to West End stage is a huge achievement. He met owners Luke and Kat when he and his mum used to drop his older brother, Josiah, now 12, off at dance classes.
That was what encouraged him to try dancing according to his mum Sarah. “Contemporary dance is his thing,” she said. “He started dancing as a five year old and he’s already danced all over the place, like the Blackpool Tower.
“Although he wasn’t successful in getting a role on TV, School of Rock was the first musical he went for and he was offered a six month contract. We’re so proud of him.”
Based on the hit film, the musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.
Austyn is a member of one of three teams of 12 kids who make up Dewey’s band. Austyn started playing the part in August and will continue until March next year.
He is also a member of St Lawrence School’s Theatre Club and usually takes a singing and dancing role if there is one.
Sarah went on: “Music and dancing is his thing. He just loves to perform.”
His teachers are very supportive of Austyn and prepare homework for him to tackle while he’s on standby at the theatre.