Year 11 Russian student Ilya has been assisting the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton with their Christmas Show.

The 15 year old boarder from Moscow, who is also a keen drama student, was delighted to help professional actor David Martin in perfecting his Russian for the upcoming musical theatre adaptation of E. Nesbit’s quintessentially English classic, The Railway Children.

David is set to play the character of Mr Szczepansky: A dissident Russian intellectual, imprisoned in Siberia for his views, who escapes to England to seek his wife and children. He cannot speak any English, so the Railway Children befriend him and help him to find his family. Student Ilya volunteered to help David with his pronunciation and accent to ensure that his performance is as authentic as possible. David said: “I certainly found the Russian tutoring useful – Ilya was a great teacher.”

Taunton School students Zachary Roberts aged 10 and Charlie Franks aged 15 are involved in the ensemble for The Railway Children.

Charlie in Year 10 is also cast in the School’s production of The 39 Steps this December. He said: “My passion is singing, dancing and acting and although it’s very busy with rehearsals at the moment I am really enjoying it and can’t wait to get on stage both at The Brewhouse and Taunton School”.

Zachary in Year 6 is also a keen actor and said: “We have been rehearsing most days for The Railway Children. It has been great working with the professional actors and see the whole performance coming together.”