Musical Theatre student lands leading role in the West End

24th January 2022

A former Musical Theatre student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has been cast in a lead role in the hit musical Heathers at The Palace Theatre in London.

Freddie King was always passionate about being a performer, even from a young age. From humble beginnings as shoe shiner number 3 at school, he has always loved to sing, act and dance. Growing up in Leamington Spa, Freddie performed in youth theatres and dance classes all over the Midlands before moving to Stratford-upon-Avon.

He joined the College in 2014 after the Musical Theatre course was recommended to him by his teacher at School: “My drama teacher spoke about the course, and I thought that definitely sounds like something I could do with my life. I didn’t want to do A-Levels as I wanted to learn more practically, and the course sounded perfect.”

Freddie enjoyed the course and his time at college immensely: “My time at college was just the best! I made lifelong friends and the shows were great too. Musicals Rock was a particular highlight but there are just too many good memories to mention!”

Freddie King at College
Freddie King loved being a part of the shows at College

After College, Freddie took a break from training; working in Stratford-upon-Avon and then moving to London: “I just felt a little young still. I took some time to travel and work until I felt ready to restart my training.” He then applied for and was accepted on the Musical Theatre degree course at the London School of Musical Theatre (LSMT).

After graduating, Freddie worked on several shows with a range of theatre companies; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Union Theatre, Peter Pan at Chelsea Football Club, Hairspray with Grange Park Opera and A Little Night Music at Opera Holland Park to name a few. Then during the Pandemic, he did some workshop sessions with Paul Taylor Mills who is now Artistic Director of The Other Palace where the musical Heathers was going to take place. Paul invited Freddie to audition for the show. A week after sending in audition tapes, Freddie was offered the role of JD, the main antagonist of Heathers.

Freddie was ecstatic to get the role: “I love this show. And it really was a full circle moment. My first trip, my first week of LSMT we went on a theatre trip to see Heathers. I sat next to a fellow student, Hannah Lowther, and I fell in love with the show and Hannah is now one of my closest friends. Now both Hannah and I have both been cast in the show. It is so special.”

Freddie King is having great success as a professional Musical Theatre performer

Freddie is enjoying the role immensely and credits the College for his development: “I feel like College creates the person you are as a performer; it provided my foundation. I like to think of it as I started as a lump of clay, Stratford-upon-Avon College made me into a pot, drama school added the glaze and now working is me being fired in the kiln.”

Freddie is planning to visit the College next year to talk to the students about his experiences: “I think it is important to go back to where you came from and have conversations with people who are where you were. I love the College and Stratford and want to help people who are on a similar path to what I was on.”

Musical Theatre lecturer, Alex Dengate, is so pleased with Freddie’s success. He comments: “We were over the moon when we heard about Freddie being cast as a lead in Heathers! We wish him and all the cast and crew the best for the run. We look forward to welcoming him back to the College in the future to share his fantastic experiences with our amazing Musical Theatre students.”

For anyone thinking about pursuing a similar career Freddie advises: “Trust yourself. Know what you want and don’t faulter in your trajectory. Also, not everyone has the same experiences; I had a slightly different route to drama school, I had jobs I missed out on but I have ended up where I needed to be. I always try to live by two things: Do something everyday that scares you and everything seems impossible until it is done.”

Find out more about the College’s Performing & Production Arts courses: SUAC Onstage courses