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Virtual Enchantment: Mikael and fellows take on the cyber age

Emdad Rahman: Ten year old Mikael Mustafa, a pupil at Hermitage, joined his fellow pupils to take part in a play at the St James Theatre, London.

Virtual Enchantment is a fairy tale for the internet age. The play was performed by pupils from Hermitage Primary School in Tower Hamlets and is about how Percy and his friends attempt to rescue Percy’s sister, who suffers from Internet Addiction Disorder and is trapped in an online game. “Virtual Enchantment is about things that are real to us,” said Mikael. “It’s about a girl who is addicted to a computer game. Her brother hacks into the game to save her from the ghastly web wizard.”

Mikael, who has also performed live at the Hackney Empire theatre refers to his character Finn as a “geeky type gamer who hacks into a lot of games.” The Hermitage pupil said: “I like acting and practise at school with a professional actor. My favourite character who I am inspired by is Superman. It’s a hobby which I would like to keep but in the future I would like a career as a Doctor.”

Mikael and his fellow actors rehearsed for six hours a day for four weeks. His mother Amina is delighted: “I’m extremely proud. I realised he had a flair for acting when I watched him play Willy Wonka in a school adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We are very proud of him. It’s something he enjoys, is good at and also keeps him out of trouble.”

Written by William Seigfried, Virtual Enchantment is the winning Play for Young Performers in Trinity College London’s 2013-14 International Playwriting Competition and was performed as part of Trinity’s International Festival of Playwriting and Performance 2014.

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