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Young Mensans take centre stage

Sebastian Carrington and Dixie Egerickx

Two talented young Mensa members have been making waves in the performing arts world.

Ten-year-olds Sebastian Carrington, from the West Midlands, and Dixie Egerickx, from London, have been making a name for themselves in the highly-competitive arenas of music and acting.

Sebastian has not only achieved distinctions in his Grade 8 singing and piano exams – an unusual achievement even for students 10 years older – but he also got to perform for royalty at Buckingham Palace.

And actress Dixie, who made her West End debut last year, is back in rehearsals with the National Theatre after completing her second film role.

Sebastian, a chorister at Coventry Cathedral, will join fellow choristers to sing with Aled Jones in concert on June 17, and will also sing one of his own compositions with the choir next month.

Earlier this month he performed by Royal appointment when he played a piece of Mendelssohn at Buckingham Palace - in the very same music room where Mendelssohn played for Queen Victoria!

In the audience was HRH The Duchess of Kent, who attended as royal patron of Future Talent, a charity which supports talented young musicians from less wealthy backgrounds.

Sebastian is now working on his repertoire for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Diploma, which he hopes to take within the next year.

His singing teacher John Gull said: “Sebastian is an exceptionally talented musician.  A distinction at Grade 8 is a fantastic achievement for anyone, but to reach that level within three years of starting singing lessons is simply astonishing. 

“When I first started teaching Sebastian he couldn't concentrate or stand still for more than a few seconds! His mind was like a Ferrari, whizzing from one subject to another with breathtaking speed. 

“He has put his extraordinary intelligence to good use, learning to sing (and speak) in foreign languages like German, Latin and Italian. Good singing technique is very much a case of 'mind over matter', and Sebastian is very fortunate to have such a powerful intellect at such a young age.”

Dixie, meanwhile, is continuing to win roles on both screen and stage. After parts in the critically-acclaimed Greek tragedy The Oresteia in the West End and the television film Churchill’s Secret, she is now preparing to step onto the National Theatre stage in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s new play Sunset at the Villa Thalia.  

The play is set in Greece and explores the impact of foreign influence, planned and unintentional, on a nation and its people over a decade from 1967.

Dixie will play Rosalind, the seven-year-old daughter of Charlotte and Theo, alongside star names like Ben Miles (The Wings of a Dove, Coupling) and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey).

The play opens at the Dorfman Theatre (previously Cottesloe), from May 25 and runs until August 4. Due to child employment laws, Dixie will share the role with two other girls and will perform on May 25 and May 27 (both 7.30pm), June 9 (7.30pm), June 18 and 21 (both 2.30pm), July 4, 7 and 11 (7.30pm), July 14 and 16 (2.30pm), July 19, 20, 21, 26, 29 and 30 (all 7.30pm) and August 1 and 3 (7.30pm).

She has also managed to fit in a small part in a short film called The Wyrd, which is set in Saxon times. Dixie played Beda and spent most of her time on set cuddling a baby goat!