Ilan Galkoff to play title role in Adrian Mole musical

Thirteen-year-old star picked from hundreds of hopefuls


Being cast in the title role in a musical at a major London theatre would rate an entry in anyone’s diary.

Even more so when the role in question is that of a famous diarist.

Thirteen-year-old Ilan Galkoff has been selected to play the lead in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, the stage show based on the bestselling books by Sue Townsend.

Ilan, a former pupil at Hertsmere Jewish Primary, will share the role with two other young actors - Samuel Menhinick, 12 and Ben Lewis, 13 - after being picked from hundreds of hopefuls. He was aged exactly 13¾ on the day of the first audition.

He told the Evening Standard that the musical “sums up a boy of that age and what is going on for boys of that age ... it is very funny at points but then it can get quite serious”.

The show chronicles the teenager’s struggles with his dysfunctional family and his troubled relationship with girlfriend Pandora, all while dealing with the challenges of puberty.

Ilan already has an impressive showbiz CV, having appeared in the West End production of Les Miserables, in Oliver!, Matilda and at the Royal Opera House.

Currently he is starring in The Braille Legacy at the Charing Cross Theatre.

He attends the Sylvia Young Theatre School and last year celebrated his barmitzvah at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue.

He is the boy soloist with the Shabbaton Choir.

Mother Suzanne told the JC: “It was not in my dreams for him to be on stage. I just want to encourage him in anything he wants to do. He’s a very good boy.”

The musical opens for previews at the Menier Chocolate Factory on July 14.


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