Catching the acting bug early

Jazz hands... Ben Wefelmeier acts as the Harlequin in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio.

Ben Wefelmeier (8), can be found playing the character of trapeze artist, Harlequin in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio at the Peoples Theatre in Braamfontein. The classic Disney story is told from the perspective of toy maker Geppetto. It follows the adventures of a little wooden puppet, Pinocchio, who is magically brought to life by the Blue Fairy.

Pinocchio’s efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavoury characters. He is joined by the Blue Fairy, Jiminy Cricket, puppet master Stromboli and a lively cast of other eccentrics as Geppetto journeys beyond the toy shop to discover the meaning of family.

“When I was little, I always dreamed of being an actor,” said Wefelmeier. “I love music, acting, singing and dancing.”

When he is older, he wants to study at a famous acting school in USA, and focus on theatre and film. Wefelmeier believes acting is hard work, but thinks its “fun being on stage”.

“Sometimes you get butterflies in your stomach, but you just have to breathe in and out and everything will be alright,” he said.

“I always tell the new ones ‘remember your lines, sing, dance and focus, and everything will go alright’.”

He told Sandton Chronicle that his parents are supportive and come to watch him at every show. He is happy he has found what he likes at such a young age and is allowed to take time off from school to feature in plays.

My Son Pinocchio is running at the Peoples Theatre from 19 May until 10 August.


Tamara Arden

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