West End debut for teenager, Tom

Tom Baarda as Prodigy judge Stefan Sadowski.
Tom Baarda as Prodigy judge Stefan Sadowski.

The spotlight was on a local teenager from Pocklington last week when he made his starring debut on London’s West End.

Pocklington School pupil Tom Baarda, 16, appeared in the world première of the new musical Prodigy in London’s St James’ Theatre.

The Production by the National Youth Music Theatre, played to full houses during its six-show run and received five star reviews.

Prodigy, written by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary, follows the five finalists of a televised classical music competition.

Featuring bitter vendettas and an unexpected romance, the heart-warming tale explores a combination of pushy parents and teenage hormones in the lead-up to a live final.

Tom played the role of television talent show judge Stefan Sadowski as well as playing the trumpet in the show’s orchestra.

Tom went through two rounds of auditions in Leeds and London to become a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, a charity giving aspiring actors and musicians aged 11-23 from across the UK the opportunity to rehearse with leading directors and choreographers and perform in professional theatres.