Ilford boy, 9, takes the stage in West End play A Doll’s House

Shane Lyons-Cording, nine, appears in A Doll's House at the Duke of York Theatre.

Shane Lyons-Cording, nine, appears in A Doll's House at the Duke of York Theatre. - Credit: Archant

For most nine-year-olds, a doll’s house is little more than a plaything, but for one Ilford schoolboy it could be the start of a sparkling stage career.

Starring in Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play, Shane Lyons-Cording has the spotlight firmly shining on him as he plucks the heartstrings of audiences at the Duke of York Theatre, in the West End.

The Year 5 pupil at Cranbrook Primary School, in The Drive, landed the dream role on his first audience for any production and says he was “very lucky”.

“People kept telling me it’s okay if you don’t get the part, because an audition is just a great experience,” says Shane.

“I was really amazed, but I love being in the play.”

The bleak play is set inside a Norwegian family home, where Shane’s on-stage mother, Nora, is leaving her husband and children behind to discover herself.

Shane’s stage debut is a far cry from his early dream of performing in one of London’s long-running musicals, but his mum Tara says he is “loving every minute” of it.

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She admits the family had to do some “buffing up” on Ibsen, but were pleasantly surprised when they saw the youngster – albeit through joyfully teary eyes. As a family we are into musicals, singing and dancing, so I was a bit dubious at first”, says Tara.

“But it’s really opened our eyes, and Shane loves the serious side of it. It’s opening avenues for him he would have never had looked at before.”

Despite his young age, this role has been years in the making for Shane – who is described as an old head on young shoulders by his mum.

Singing and dancing from the age of four, he has wanted to do nothing else and he now dreams of appearing alongside Jennifer Lawrence in an instalment of The Hunger Games series.

His mum added: “I’d like to be in a big movie like The Hunger Games one day. I like David Walliams and Johnny Depp, but Jennifer Lawrence is who I’d really love to act with.”

n A Doll’s House runs at the Duke of York Theatre until October 26. For tickets visit

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