Talented performer Olivia Purnell from Yelverton stole the show at one of the UK’s most prestigious venues in front of a sold out crowd of 5,200-plus people.

Olivia, 14, a pupil at Tavistock’s Mount Kelly College, stole the show after being picked from an audition of 3,000 children nationwide to take on the lead role of Maya, Daughter of David in a new musical King David - A Hero’s Journey, part of All Souls annual Proms Praise for schools.

Her father, Craig, himself an award winning actor and also in the show playing Goliath said: “I couldn’t believe it! She sang a solo at the end of the musical and the whole crowd stood and applauded. I was so proud for her.”

Olivia wowed the 5,000 audience at The Royal Albert Hall after two hours of acting, singing and dancing and received a standing ovation. An amazing achievement for a young girl.”

She said: “I was very nervous at first, working with so many professional performers and rather overawed by the challenge. It was especially daunting singing in front of everyone for the first time, especially the 70 odd musicians in the orchestra, but I slowly got used to it and started to relax a lot more after that first day of rehearsals.

“I felt exactly the same just before I went on in front of the audience at the Royal Albert Hall. Waiting in the wings my throat was dry but thankfully when I ran on and said my first lines and the audience responded, it relaxed me.”

Craig said: “Nothing prepares you for the size and scale of The Royal Albert Hall until you walk out and step onto that vast stage and see the sold out surrounding auditorium.”

Craig’s character died at the hands of young David’s sling: “It was such a large character to play, excuse the pun.

“The audience went wild with excitement when I was struck down by David’s stone. Which was exactly the response we wanted.”

Olivia Purnell rehearses David and Goliath at Royal Albert Hall
Olivia Purnell. (submitted)

Michael Thomas Andrews, the musical director, said: “Absolutely brilliant performances from both Purnell’s, but a particular huge congratulations goes to Olivia for making this incredible debut on one of the world's greatest stages! A Huge thanks from me and the team at All Souls Music.”

After the high of such a performance where do all rock stars go after? To the original Hard Rock Cafe of course where Olivia was taken for a milkshake by her father to celebrate!

So where next for Olivia? She leaves with her local Tavistock drama group, Theatretrain for a week in April sightseeing, watching shows and the culmination of numerous rehearsals, for a performance in Central Park, New York!