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Ben Rhydding ‘Miracle Baby’ given star role in Ilkley show
Ten years ago after he was born weighing less than a bag of sugar, Daniel Burgess is preparing for his first heavyweight role on the stage.
The youngster was described as a “miracle baby” when he scaled just 1lb 10oz when he arrived on Boxing Day in 2001.
Now, a decade later, the youngster is as fit as a fiddle and he has landed a role as Oliver Twist in a stage production of the famous Dickens story.
The youngster said: “I’m excited but I probably will be really nervous when I’m about to go on stage.”
Daniel, a member of the Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society, has acted before in Hairspray and is soon due to be the Prince in the Nutcracker, but playing Oliver will be his biggest role to date.
As well as acting, the Ben Rhydding Primary School pupil sings and dances and will soon be auditioning for a play at the prestigious Northern Ballet in Leeds.
His proud parents, Andrew and Stephanie, have shown their son all the pictures of his early days and are delighted he has landed the role.
“It’s tremendous,” said Mrs Burgess, from Wheatley Grove, Ben Rhydding. “We didn’t know what was going to happen when he was born and it was such a traumatic time.
“He had to see paediatric specialists for the first couple of years, but by the time he was two he had caught up with all the other children. One nurse said if she didn’t know his history, she wouldn’t have known he was premature.”
Mrs Burgess will perform in Oliver! alongside Daniel and his sister, Frankie, 16.
“In one scene, I think they have to dance together,” said Mrs Burgess. “Daniel’s not too happy about that.”
Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society perform Oliver! from Wednesday, March 7, to Saturday, March 10, at 7.15pm. Tickets are available from the King’s Hall box office on (01943) 602028.
For more details, go to ilkley operatic.co.uk.
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