A WIRRAL schoolgirl is through to the national grand final of a Shakespeare performance competition. 

Olivia Lynch, 11, competed against pupils up to three years older than herself and will represent the Northwest at the National Grand Finals at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End on March 8.

The competition is organised by the English Speaking Union.

Olivia, a year seven pupil at Kingsmead School in Hoylake, performed her Ophelia monologue from Hamlet in the regional heats in Manchester, having been chosen from hundreds of video entries from all over the country.

Her proud father Antony said: "It is Olivia’s dream to become an actress and she has studied with LIPA for four years.

"Performing is what she excels at and we are so delighted and proud of her.

"She was just happy to be taking part, and now she will appear on the West End stage – a lot sooner than we had imagined! We are going to have a big family outing to London to see her perform."

Headmaster Mark Gibbons added: "We are very proud of Olivia's achievement, especially against pupils so much older than herself.

"We could tell she has a very special talent, just from her work in the theatre we have here in school, and she will absolutely shine onstage in London in March. We wish her every success."