Harry Potter star casts a spell on Attleborough Academy’s drama students

Sam Clemmett, centre, with Attleborough Academy head boy Ben Castle and head girl Chloe Williams. Pi

Sam Clemmett, centre, with Attleborough Academy head boy Ben Castle and head girl Chloe Williams. Picture ATTLEBOROUGH ACADEMY - Credit: Archant

One of the biggest stars of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has added a touch of magic to a school's drama class.

Pictured, from left, Attleborough Academy head of drama Sian Jones, assistant principal Carmina McCo

Pictured, from left, Attleborough Academy head of drama Sian Jones, assistant principal Carmina McConnell, Sam Clemmett, principal Neil McShane. Sam Clemmett plays Albus Potter in the West End show Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Picture: ATTLEBOROUGH ACADEMY - Credit: Archant

Sam Clemmett, 23, paid a visit to A-Level and GCSE drama students at Attleborough Academy.

Mr Clemmett, originally from Brundall, plays Harry Potter's son, Albus, in the West End show.

Sian Jones, the school's head of drama, said the students were thrilled with the visit, which included taking part in script readings with Year 12 students, giving them tips on movement techniques and watching a performance of Blood Brothers by the Year 10 group.

Mr Clemmett also spoke to the Year 12 group about the rehearsal process for the Harry Potter show.

Sam Clemmett, centre, with Attleborough Academy Year 12 Drama group, Assistant principal Carmina McC

Sam Clemmett, centre, with Attleborough Academy Year 12 Drama group, Assistant principal Carmina McConnell and head of drama Sian Jones. Picture ATTLEBOROUGH ACADEMY - Credit: Archant


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He said: 'There's a lot of sitting around a table, talking for hours and hours about the characters.

'Before we were even read through any of the play with the cast, we were talking about the characters – their family and background and what had happened to them in the 19 years.'

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Mr Clemmett said his own experience growing up was much different to his character's, which was part of the challenge of playing Albus.

He said: 'Albus and Harry are very similar and don't see eye to eye and neither do Albus and James - his brother.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London. Pictured are, from left, Jamie Pa

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London. Pictured are, from left, Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter). Photo: Manuel Harlan. - Credit: Manuel Harlan

'Unlike Albus, I have very good relationships with my brothers and dad and it is very different going from that, and to play an angsty teen, which I never was.

'The rich background of knowledge about the relationships between the characters slowly grew over weeks of rehearsal and informed everything that goes into the play.'

Mr Clemmett said his advice for budding actors was to listen, think and constantly pay attention.

He said: 'What makes a really superb actor is being as specific as you can.

Sam Clemmett as Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London. P

Sam Clemmett as Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London. Photo: Manuel Harlan. . - Credit: Manuel Harlan

'Having an opinion about what is going on, on stage at all times.

'The basis of all acting is listening.

'You should be constantly alert, always thinking – if you don't listen then scenes are not electric.'

Mr Clemmett said he hoped to set an example for others.

He said: 'I love my job and want to inspire many people to work hard and be creative, whilst still being a good human being.'

Mrs Jones, who has known Mr Clemmett said he was a young boy, said he had always had a passion for acting.

She said: 'When I was teaching at Brundall Primary School a little boy tugged at my sleeve, looked up at me with big brown eyes and said: 'I want to be an actor'.

'Thirteen years later those same brown eyes gaze out across the world from the advertising billboards for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, charming global audiences including Hollywood stars like Julia Roberts and Emma Watson.

'Last week he was on the red carpet with the cast of Fantastic Beasts and JK Rowling, this week he is on the carpet of Attleborough Academy's drama studio.

'I am so proud to see such a dedicated and fantastic actor rise to stardom and yet still be such a considerate, decent and humble young man.'

Mrs Jones also taught Mr Clemmett, alongside drama teacher Clare Williamson, when he was studying for his GCSEs and A-Levels at Thorpe St Andrew School.

She said his level of commitment made him stand out as a drama student.

Mrs Jones said: 'Sam would always be questioning, constantly thinking about the part, trying to understand everything about a character.'

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