Next Friday (18 November) JK Rowling's hotly anticipated film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in cinemas across the UK to the delight of her millions of fans. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Harry Potter's Hogwart's textbook and also features 30 local Theatrix drama students. Over the past year, they’ve been working as actors on the film at Leavesden and Caddington Studios. They and their families and friends will be watching the film very closely to spot themselves in the action.

The students, aged from eight to 18, played a wide range of background parts - from street urchins to ice skaters to ocean liner passengers. Before getting on camera they also attended casting, costume fitting and hairdressing and make up sessions. One girl student was in a scene with Eddie Redmayne and one of the older boys found himself helping the director. As this was paid work (often on school days) the students had to be specially licensed by the local authority.

Theatrix principal Rosemarie Partridge says, “Over the years Theatrix has formed a strong professional relationship with the people responsible for Warner Brothers casting. This has enabled us to give our students brilliant opportunities to work in the film world at the highest level. The paid work has also given our students a taste of what it takes to be a professional. It has been a fantastically enjoyable and rewarding experience for them all.”