A star was born in Ottery

ROSHAN ABRAHAMS

Cara-Grace Henriques knew she wanted to be on stage when she was only four years old.

The tiny Ottery resident will be turning six tomorrow, Thursday March 31, and is starring in a play titled Tales of Little Grey Rabbit at the Artscape Theatre.

Her career started early thanks to the support of her family.

While being amazed by a play called Annie, put on at the auditorium of her school, Herschel Girls’ School, in Claremont, she told her mother, “one day I will be on that stage”.

Cara-Grace welcomed Southern Mail with a broad smile, her father Gerrard, mother Candice and brother Connor at her side.

Mr Henriques said his daughter had an extraordinary talent. “She has a natural talent for singing and I noticed when there’s a song playing on radio, she would sing along in tune and she would sing accurately to the beat.”

He said they wanted to give her the opportunity to follow her dreams which they did not have.

His wife agreed. She said when she grew up she didn’t know what she wanted to be. So she and her husband focused on finding out what their children’s talents were.

Cara-Grace’s brother Connor, 8, also has a singing talent and he sings in the choir at Western Province Preparatory School, in Claremont. He also loves to play chess, cricket and swim.

Cara-Grace’s drama teacher, Cheryl Abromowitz, suggested she audition for Stage Craft Drama Studio’s Tales of Little Grey Rabbit, at the Artscape. It is an interpre- tation of a story written by Alison Uttley and directed by Cheryl Abromowitz.

Mr Henriques expressed his admiration as a proud father. “Her story can inspire many children and as the age old cliché goes, ‘If you believe it, you can achieve it’.”

He said although it is a small production, “it is big for a little girl to perform on stage in front of a full house, including adults and children”.

Ms Henriques said her daughter wasn’t fearful at all, even when performing in front of an audience of about 100 people.

“She had confidence, she knew her lines and she acted like a seasoned pro,” she said proudly.

Her tenacity and passion to be “on stage” drove her to get up every Saturday and Sunday for rehearsals, from 9am to noon, for six weeks without a moan or a groan.

“We supported her and went to every single rehearsal. The drama school production wanted us to be there. Even when she fell ill, she still wanted to go to rehearsals and not disappoint her fellow cast members,” said Mr Henriques.

Cara-Grace sang a song called Stranger Danger in her rabbit’s voice. Then she explained the story is a lesson. “Never open a door to a stran-ger,” said Cara-Grace, in her dramatic little voice.

This budding actress will be performing at the Artscape until April 2, at 10.30am. Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat at 021 421 7695.