ELEVEN-year-old Leo Brown was born with a cleft palate and lip but this hurdle did not stop him from taking up acting – in fact, it inspired it.
Suggested as a way to assist his speech therapy, Brown started drama classes when he was four at Expressions Drama Studio in Wembley Downs and is now a member of the Midnite Youth Theatre Company.
The year 6 student at Christ Church Grammar School also plays the violin and sings in St George’s Cathedral Choir.
His next performance will be starring in annual fundraising production A Dickens of a Christmas as Tiny Tim, with North Perth couple Alinta Carroll and Dan Luxton playing his parents Bob and Mrs Cratchit.
“It’s the first play I’ll do where it’s all adults and I’m the only child actor, so I think it’ll be fun but a bit different for me,” Brown said.
“I got to meet my mum and dad in the play during the photo shoot and everyone seems really nice.”
Brown said he had been recommended for the production through his work with Midnite Youth Theatre Company, and although was not familiar with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the time, quickly jumped on board after reading it.
Now in its fourth year, A Dickens of a Christmas is directed by Anthony Howes and brings actors together with the Phillips Chorale directed by Marilyn Phillips, the Royal Agricultural Society’s WA Brass, accompanist Stewart Smith and duo Bel Canto.
Everyone volunteers their time and all proceeds go to the homeless.
Brown, who is the youngest of three siblings and the only performer in his family, said he planned to continue acting but only as a hobby.
“I enjoy the interaction with the audience,” he said.
What: A Dickens of a Christmas
Where: St George’s Cathedral, Perth
When: Sunday, December 6