Archie Blomfield will be taking centre stage at the Hammersmith Apollo this Christmas in the stage adaptation of the bestselling children’s book, The Christmasaurus, by McFly member Tom Fletcher.
Young wheelchair user, Archie said: ‘It’s brilliant to have been cast as the lead role of William Trundle. The Christmasaurus is one of my favourite books and I love acting, so I couldn’t believe it when they told me I had the part. This is the first time I have ever acted on the stage so it’s really exciting.’
Archie has hereditary spastic paraplegia, which is a degenerative genetic condition that causes stiffness and weakness in his legs and means that he relies on a manual wheelchair, provided by Whizz-Kidz, to get around.
The Christmasaurus written by Tom Fletcher features a young wheelchair user, William Trundle, as he embarks on an action-packed magical adventure on Christmas Eve with a dinosaur named Christmasaurus and Santa Claus. The book was written in consultation with Whizz-Kidz in order to accurately represent the experiences of a young wheelchair user.
Tom Fletcher said: ‘I’m thrilled that The Christmasaurus has made it to the stage this year and with Archie as the lead it is going to be a brilliant show. He is a fantastic actor and we knew as soon as we met him that he would be perfect for the role. It was just by the chance that Archie has also recently received his wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz, of which I am a patron and who also advised me on the book.
‘Seeing more representation for disabled children and young people in the media and across the performing arts is vital, which is why we cast a young wheelchair user in the role of William.’
Starring Tom Fletcher, his wife, author Giovanna Fletcher, together with McFly bandmate Harry Judd and Busted bandmate Matt Willis, the show will take place from Friday December 22nd – 28th 2017, featuring music, animation, magic and special guests (to be announced). There are sleigh bells and singing elves, Santa Claus, flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s a tale about adventure, family, friendship and discovering that the impossible might just be possible.
Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said: ‘It is wonderful to see one of the young people we have supported, Archie, cast as the lead role in The Christmasaurus, a fantastic story which features a young wheelchair user as the central character. We would like to thank Tom for his wonderful support as a patron of Whizz-Kidz, including his tireless work in promoting the representation of disabled children and young people within the media and the performing arts.’
Whizz-Kidz has been supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery since 2013 and, to date, they have generously awarded nearly one million pounds to support the charity’s work.