Max Coussins gets second chance as Oliver in West End show

Max is set to perform as Oliver at the Usher Hall. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Max is set to perform as Oliver at the Usher Hall. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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HE’S a star in the making – landing his dream role on stage and a slot in a major new film.

But last time ten-year-old Max Coussins auditioned for the part of Oliver Twist, he was left devastated after producers ruled that he was four inches too tall.

Now, the Liberton schoolboy is set to rub shoulders with the likes of West End stars Ray Quinn, Jai McDowell and Zoe Tyler when he performs at the Usher Hall next month as part of a musical gala show.

He secured the part of Oliver in “Tonight from the West End” next month after undergoing an intense audition process.

Max will also shortly make an appearance on the big screen alongside Peter Mullan and Sean Connery’s son Jason in Tommy’s Honour, which tells the tale of golf legends Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom.

The Buckstone Primary School pupil has been performing since the age of five and was born into a “musical theatre” family, according to his dad, Keith.

Mr Coussins said: “It was natural for him to go to theatre classes because we are a very arty family – my wife and I own a dance shop in the centre of town and my uncle was a pianist for Frank Sinatra.

“Max trains every Saturday at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts and loves it.

“Being on stage makes him happy and he was delighted to have been cast as Oliver.

“Max is confident for his age but in a shy way.”

While filming for Tommy’s Honour, Max spent time with Hollywood stars Connery, Mullan, Sam Neill and Jack Lowden.

Mr Coussins said: “He had a great time filming, he gets a lot of jobs through his agent and going to castings.

“Max just has something – it’s hard to explain, but he is very talented.

“We just want him to have a great childhood that is pressure free, and if acting and performing is what he loves, we will continue to let him do that.

“When he auditioned for Oliver! at the Playhouse, he was four inches too tall to play the part and was disappointed because it’s a role he’s always wanted to play.

“Now that he is actually getting to play Oliver, it’s a dream come true, he’s already champing at the bit to start his rehearsals.”

Max will be joined on stage by an ensemble of boys from city-based Fierce Theatre School, who will make up Fagin’s gang, and will perform a number of hit songs from the musical, including Consider Yourself.

The show will also include a medley of songs from shows such as The Lion King, Saturday Night Fever, Fame, Les Miserables and Mamma Mia.

Mr Coussins added: “We are delighted for Max and very proud of him. We hope he thoroughly enjoys the experience of being on stage with the West End stars.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk