AN 11-year-old from Clitheroe came within reaching distance of playing the lead role in the award-winning West End show, Matilda the Musical.

Madeleine Dummer, a pupil at Pendle Primary School, auditioned for the part at Pineapple Studios, London, and made it into the last few.

The four girls chosen to play Matilda, aged 10 to 12, have since become the youngest actresses ever to win an Olivier Award, the Oscars of musical theatre.

Madeleine’s mum, Rose, said the casting directors were looking for slightly shorter girls.

She said: “It is very, very tough, but it was so exciting to be left standing when most of the others had been let go.

“At the end of the day the casting director was wearing a tape measure around her neck. They are extremely strict on height. We got a lovely email saying that Madeleine was clearly very talented, but sadly too tall for Matilda.

“It’s such a shame Maddy missed out, but she got to do The Sound Of Music with Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company, so she wasn’t too disappointed. It was a fantastic experience for a little girl.”

Madeleine was also involved with a BBC film adaptation of Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart in 2010, when she played one of Macduff’s children.