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Ipswich’s Roma, 12, off to Birmingham for final of Open Mic UK Songwriters contest

Twelve-year-old Roma Manteiga Nicholson will perform in the grand final of the Open Mic UK Songwriters Competition in Birmingham this weekend. Picture: JON TURNER

Twelve-year-old Roma Manteiga Nicholson will perform in the grand final of the Open Mic UK Songwriters Competition in Birmingham this weekend. Picture: JON TURNER


Tomorrow’s the day all 12-year-old Roma Manteiga Nicholson’s work pays off, as she performs in the grand final of the Open Mic UK Songwriters Competition.

More than 10,000 people from across the UK competed for the chance to perform at the NEC Birmingham. Previous entrants include Birdy, who was only 12 when she won in 2008; plus the X-Factor’s Lucy Spraggan and Luke Friend.

The student at Stagecoach Performing Arts Ipswich won one a spot in the final with her self-written song Father. It features on her EP Welcome to the Waterfront, which she released to raise money for Suffolk-based homeless charity Selig.

“I love performing and have been writing songs since the age of nine. I come from a musical family, as both my parents sing and perform, so they have really encouraged me and it is lovely they’re so supportive,” says the St Alban’s Catholic High School pupil.

She’s no stranger to the stage, starring in pantomime alongside the late Paul Daniels at the Ipswich Regent and debuting in her first professional role as Young Princess Fiona in the Shrek West End Musical Tour when she was just 10.

“I had an amazing 2017, performing and meeting some amazing people and being in the final of such a massive competition is a very exciting way to start the new year. I can’t wait to perform at the NEC Birmingham.”

Sarah Corbett, principal of Stagecoach Performing Arts Ipswich, says Roma is a wonderful example of the power of the performing arts to give children the belief they can succeed in whatever they set their mind to.

“A very talented individual, she has been coming to Stagecoach classes for eight years and it has been a delight to see her develop from a shy girl who wouldn’t leave her parents’ side to the confident young performer she is today. We wish her all the best for this week’s Open Mic UK Final.”

Stagecoach Performing Arts Ipswich is part of a network of more than 650 extra-curricular performing arts schools worldwide.

Many children have gone on to study and work in the business - from blockbuster films to countless roles in local theatre productions.

Visit or call 07900 657780 for more info.

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