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Big break Young Irish actress (11) lands starring role in new Matilda movie

Alisha previously shot to fame when she wowed the Late Late Toy Show audience in 2017 when she fronted a choir which sang a cover of Cindy Lauper’s True Colours.

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Alisha Weir

Alisha Weir

Alisha Weir

A YOUNG Irish actress has won the dream role to play the lead part in a movie version of Matilda.

Alisha Weir (11) has been cast opposite Emma Thomson in the Sony Pictures flick, which has also been purchased by Netflix.

“I’m over the moon for Alisha, she’s one of my students and everyone is thrilled for her,” Fair City actor Johnny Ward, who runs a theatre school, tells the Sunday World.

Alisha previously shot to fame when she wowed the Late Late Toy Show audience in 2017 when she fronted a choir which sang a cover of Cindy Lauper’s True Colours.

She has also appeared in Virgin Media’s Darklands and last year took part in Irish Women in Harmony’s performance on the Late Late Show, with their Christmas song, a cover of The Cranberries’ Dreams also featuring Una Healy and Imelda May among others in aid of the ISPCC..

She is signed to Maureen Ward’s Talent Academy and among her other roles has been playing Molly in musical Annie at the Dublin National Concert Hall and Once at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.

The film, based on Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel of the same name, and Emma Thompson takes the role of the nasty headmistress Miss Trunchbull.

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Dame Emma Thompson will play formidable headteacher Miss Trunchbull in Netflix’s musical adaptation of Matilda (Lia Toby/PA)

Dame Emma Thompson will play formidable headteacher Miss Trunchbull in Netflix’s musical adaptation of Matilda (Lia Toby/PA)

Dame Emma Thompson will play formidable headteacher Miss Trunchbull in Netflix’s musical adaptation of Matilda (Lia Toby/PA)

Matilda is about a young, highly intelligent girl who develops psychokinetic abilities and uses them to deal with her dysfunctional family.

It was previously adapted for the screen in 1996 and starred Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Pam Ferris and Embeth Davidtz.

Though Harry Potter franchise star Ralph Fiennes was previously attached to the role, Saving Mr. Banks and Love Actually star Emma Thompson will be taking the role instead.

It’s not clear why Fiennes is no longer taking the role (which he was due to play in drag), which followed in the stage production’s footsteps of having a man play the role of the heinous headmistress.

As for the rest of the cast, the only other key cast member confirmed so far is Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, the sweet teacher who encourages Matilda and has an upsetting history with Miss Trunchbull.

It has still to be announced who will play Matilda’s parents and some of her fellow classmates at school.

Matthew Warchus, who directed the original Tony Award-winning stage musical, is also directing the movie. The script comes from Dennis Kelly, and the original music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin will also be featured.

Warchus said in a statement: "Matilda will be an imaginative and fresh retelling of the award-winning musical, Matilda, featuring talented young newcomers, alongside established stars.

"I look forward to introducing this beloved and powerful story to a new generation of fans around the world.”

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