She only started performing last year – but this talented teen is fast becoming one of musical theatre’s rising stars.
Amara Okereke, 15, who lives in Adel, Leeds, caught the acting bug after appearing in a school performance of Little Shop of Horrors, and she hasn’t looked back since.
After shining in national auditions, she has appeared in two musicals this year and made her West End debut in August – and now, she’s set to sing in front of judges as part a national competition.
This summer, Amara starred as Jamie in Out There, written by Elliott Davis and Busted’s James Bourne, the pair behind the hit musical Loserville.
Amara also appeared in the West End production of Jason Robert Brown’s critically acclaimed 13 in August, playing the role of Cassie.
Amara’s mother Ebere was full of pride to see her daughter on the stage, but hopes her newfound success does not distract her from her studies.
She said: “It’s unbelievable, watching her up there was extremely emotional. We brought the whole family along and everyone was very proud.
“She wants to make a living out of musicals now, but this is all new to me and I’m concerned that it’s a very competitive area of work. Though she’s been succesful, I’m keen she stays in mainstream education as long as possible.”
Amara, who attends The Grammar School at Leeds in Alwoodley, has taken dance classes at Headingley Dance Centre since she was five, and for the last three years has had singing lessons from Sue Lees, a former soprano at Opera North.
Later this month, Amara will be one of 14 finalists at the Festival4Stars competition.
She will compete in the 15 and over musical solos category, where she will perform a two minute rendition of a song for the judges.
Ebere said: “We couldn’t attend the regionals in Yorkshire, so she went through in Manchester as one of only two people to get into the final.
“At 15, she is one of the youngest people in the overall final, and she’s competing against adults from across the country.”