ONE of Swindon’s rising starlets has bagged a role in a critically-acclaimed West End show and will take centre stage on her ninth birthday later this month.

Matilda Blake will star in The Ferryman – a five-star show directed by Sam Mendes – the mastermind behind the most recent James Bond films.

The eight-year-old King William Street Primary School pupil has been working incredibly hard over recent months to get the role and was over the moon when she was told the exciting news.

“I wasn’t nervous auditioning but more excited and confident,” she said.

“I think just having the opportunity to do it is so much fun.”

The Ferryman premiered at the Royal Court earlier this year, becoming the fastest-selling show in the theatre’s history.

It is now staged at the equally-popular Gielgud Theatre and tells the story of the Carney farmhouse family in Ireland during the 1980s.

Twinkle-toed Matilda has always had a passion for theatre, drama and dancing and has been a pupil at Gemma Short School of Dance and Theatre Arts for the last few years.

As well as juggling school work with rehearsals, Matilda competes in a whole host of competitions and most recently won a top award at the All England Dance Finals.

Proud mum Victoria, 38 said she was overjoyed to hear that her daughter had been given the role in the London show.

“This role is her first in the West End and she has been training so hard for it for the last month, going to London to rehearse with Sam Mendes,” she said.

“It is an Irish speaking play and so he has been with a vocal coach trying to work on the accent because there are quite a lot of lines for her throughout the play.

“Both my husband James and I were quite shocked when we heard she got it and it is still sinking in that she is going to be in the West End.

"We are both proud and we went to see what the play was about but I don’t think it will hit us until we see her up on the stage on her birthday.”

Matilda secured the prestigious role through her work at children’s theatrical company Stagebox.

After wowing the show’s producers with her audition tape showing off her acting abilities, the youngster sailed through to the final shortlist of 10 children before being told she was one of the lucky ones to have got a spot in the show.

Matilda’s first performance in The Ferryman will be on October 24.