Friday, 14 December 2018

Sister act too!

A GIRL from Nettlebed is following in the footsteps of her brother after appearing in Judi Dench’s latest film.

A GIRL from Nettlebed is following in the footsteps of her brother after appearing in Judi Dench’s latest film.

Darcey Hogan, five, plays an orphan in Philomena, which also stars Steve Coogan and has been critically acclaimed.

Meanwhile, her nine-year-old brother Joshua is starring on the stage alongside Jason Donovan in the musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury.

Philomena is the true story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her as a baby as she was forced to live in a convent.

Darcey, a pupil at Rupert House School in Henley, is featured in a scene in which the young Philomena, played by Sophie Kennedy-Clark, has to give away her son.

She was scouted by the Redroofs drama group in Maidenhead, which Joshua belongs to, after it was approached by the film production company last year. Her friends Dominic Mayling, four, whose mother Carolyn runs the group, and Nina Beagley, five, were also selected to play orphans in the film.

The scene was filmed on one day in January and the young actors were picked up from Maidenhead by car and taken to Rickmansworth for the shoot. Darcey, who was accompanied by her mother Nicola, said: “We went into a big studio and got dressed. I wore a nice dress and they let me keep the ribbon from my hair.

“I had to take off my shoes and socks for the part and I kept saying, ‘Mummy, my feet are cold’.

“I was there all day. I think we did 42 takes of the same scene. Luckily, I got a packed lunch and when we left they gave us fish and chips to eat in the car.” Dominic had to wear woolly undergarments to counter the itchy material and was given a haircut so he looked like a child from the Fifties.

Mrs Mayling said: “It was all short back and sides then and Dom’s hair was quite long. He was quite happy, chatting away to the hairdresser, whereas I was asking if she could keep it as it was. She said if they wanted to get an Oscar it needed to be short and I suppose she was right.”

Mrs Hogan said: “The children got to see the actress playing the young version of Judi Dench’s character but not the woman herself.

“Darcey did miss a day of reception but the school was very supportive and thought it would be a fun experience. We are going to buy the DVD but Darcey will have to wait to see it because it’s a 12A.”

Joshua, who goes to Moulsford Preparatory School, and Darcey are both members of the Henley Children’s Theatre Company Group and will be in the group’s pantomime, Dick Whittington, at the Kenton Theatre.

He will play Quasimodo and she will be a ratling.

Mrs Hogan said: “It’s hectic having two actors in the family as there’s lots of travelling.

“We have a lot of trips to Aylesbury for Joshua and we’ve seen his musical eight times already but when you’re a parent you spend most of your time as a taxi anyway!”

Darcey says she enjoys acting. “I’m in my school’s Christmas play, Hey Ewe, as a narrator,” she said.

“I just want to keep acting. I think I’m better than Joshua.”

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