Spotlight on child stars

john paul green
john paul green
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CHILD stars past and present will take centre stage for a special university conference in Sunderland.

The event, Child Actors/Child Stars: Juvenile Performance on Screen at the University of Sunderland, will focus on child stars from across the ages, including Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor.

Held at the university’s riverside campus, the event on Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9, will attract experts from across the world.

Among the speakers will be the University of Sunderland’s Dr Susan Smith, who recently completed a book on the legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died in March, for the British Film Industry’s Film Stars series.

Dr Smith will present a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor’s work as a child actor and the important contribution her early career made to her enduring stardom.

She will focus, in particular, on the actress’s defining performance in National Velvet.

Other speakers include Professor Linda Ruth Williams, from the University of Southampton, who will be discussing children as a focus for melodrama in Steven Spielberg’s work, with particular emphasis on Henry Thomas’ performance as Elliott in E.T.

The conference also features an interview with former British child actor, Jon Whiteley, who will talk about his experiences making a series of films as a young boy, including, Hunted, The Kidnappers and Moonfleet, and his work with actors such as Dirk Bogarde and Stewart Granger.

The University of Sunderland’s John Paul Green will look at how the TV series Doctor Who uses children to instil fear in viewers.

A limited number of places are available at a discounted rate of £30. To book, contact Lianne Hopper on 515 2082 or email lianne.hopper@sunderland.ac.uk before Thursday.

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools