YOUNG actor Ben Langcaster has no expectations but plenty of dreams when it comes to drama.

The 16-year-old from Albert Street in Swindon has won the part of young Pip in TS Theatre’s production of Great Expectations at the Wyvern Theatre next month.

Ben is a realist, taking nothing for granted but the fact that he needs a deep passion for drama and a solid work ethic to be in with a chance of a lucky break in the world of a theatre.

“I would love to get into the acting industry. The dream would be to go to RADA but it is so difficult. You need lucky breaks, but whatever I end up doing I will always want to be involved in local theatre companies,’’ he said.

Along with earning an A* for performance in his drama GCSEs, and a place at Cirencester College where he is hoping to study drama, graphics and English literature, Ben’s expectations are looking bright.

Ben was spotted for the part of young Pip in the Charles Dickens’ classic by Jane Dale, who plays Wemmick in Great Expectations, when he was performing at the Bohemian Balcony in Swindon.

“She said that the director Peter Hynds had offered me an audition. I went along and it was straight into rehearsal,’’ said Ben.

The former Commonweal School pupil is topping 6ft in height and said: “The lucky thing is that Olly Webb who plays the older Pip is the only member of the cast who is taller than I am.’’

He admits that it was quite intimidating joining such a professional cast who are all older and far more experienced actors, but he has a huge respect for the director.

“He’s a great guy who allows us breathing space to bring our own character to life, but he knows what he wants. All our rehearsals are full of banter and some of the most comedic moments come from Pete’s directions, particularly as he has made Mrs Joe and Uncle Pumblechook very sleazy characters. I can’t help laughing in the corner,’’ said Ben.

Relating to the vulnerability of young Pip came easily to Ben as he had taken the part of Henry in That Face by Polly Stenham.

Ben said: “At the end of the very weird play Henry gets very emotional and my drama teacher showed me how to portray that.’’

He has made a good impression on his fellow actors as Laura James who plays Miss Havisham said: “Ben has been brilliant to work with. For such a young actor he is very professional and has been extremely committed to the rehearsal process.

"He’s really grown into the character of Young Pip and has a real understanding of who he is the play and the significance of his background and his relationships with other characters.

"We’re all looking forward to performing with him.’’

Although his main focus is acting, Ben has other strings to his bow including playing the keyboards, teaching himself to read music, filming his own video logs including his experiences on holiday in Zante, writing a film script and, for the past two years, working on a science fiction novel called Bidestra.

“If I need to for a part I even learn to dance,’’ said Ben. “I was the brother in Billy Elliot at Commonweal.’’

Ben discovered his passion for acting coincidently in a Dickensian spin-off called Olivia, when he was still in primary school. He played Fagin and his best friend the Artful Dodger.

He took part in two Gang Shows when he was a Boy Scout and then went on to learn more about his craft at the Wyvern’s Swindon Summer Youth Project in the musical Our House.

More recently he took the part of Francis Flute and Thisbe in Gatecrash Theatre’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Great Expectations is at the Wyvern Theatre from Monday, September 11, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14. Visit