Schoolboy Benjamin Alexander training to be real life Billy Elliott

The 10-year-old was on set filming with Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender in Bamburgh

Benjamin Alexander from Newcastle, who starred in Macbeth alongside Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender
Benjamin Alexander from Newcastle, who starred in Macbeth alongside Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender

Schoolboy Benjamin Alexander is living the dream learning his craft alongside Hollywood’s elite.

By day 10-year-old Benjamin is your average pupil playing with friends at school. But at the end of the school day he is a real life Billy Elliott training in dance and musical theatre in the hope of making it onto the big screen.

Having danced since the age of three Benjamin recently got his first taste of being in a big film production when the 200-strong cast and crew of Macbeth rolled into Bamburgh, Northumberland, as part of its seven-week filming schedule across the country.

With his hair chopped and dishevelled and dressed in brown robes Benjamin was chosen as one of three children playing tag on the Northumberland beach as Macduff, said to be played by actor Sean Harris, burns at the stake.


He then had to flee with his family from the troubled Macbeth played by Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender, who lost out at the weekend to Jared Leto in the best supporting actor category for his role in 12 Years a Slave.

Benjamin, who attends Buzz Theatre Arts in Fenham, Newcastle, said: “It was really good to be an extra and fun on the set with the crew and actors, I’d definitely like to do it again.

“I love performing and being on the stage. I’ve told my friends at school about it. Some of them want to be my manager, some want to come to the Oscars with me.”

Benjamin’s proud mum Laura, 41, from Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, said: “It was so exciting for him as it was his first paid for role and he got to have a sister in the film which he has always wanted. I saw online the producers were looking for extras and so sent in a photo of Benjamin. They must have liked his face as they contacted us for more details.

“Benjamin has been dancing since he was three and says this is what he wants to do, be on stage and act.

“It was a great experience for him to work alongside these actors.”

While Macbeth was Benjamin’s first taste of being on a film set, he has also appeared on stage in front of thousands as a lost boy in the Metro Arena show Peter Pan and is auditioning for the part of Bruce in the London Musical Matilda.


David Whetstone
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