With performance and auditions, you don’t always have to be at your best to do well, or get the part.

You just have to do enough to appeal to the imagination of the director or producer.

It was July 1983 - me mum’s diary states “July 29th 83. Adelphi Theatre, 11:45am”. So there we have it.

It was a big day, the big audition. The day my life changed forever. The thing is, the audition wasn’t my best.

I arrived in a bit of a whirlwind. Me mum had to grab us from school and get us to the West End.

I was ushered to the stage next to a pianist. Cameron Mackintosh in the stalls.

I suppose I was a bit nervous. I mean, I only knew a bit of the verse and the chorus of Consider Yourself (I’d sung it at primary school, ‘where me career began’) but I was confident enough to give it some welly.

But, I got some of the lyrics wrong, but nailed the script read. I just knew those words - I mean, I didn’t - but they were in a vernacular I understood very well. It spoke to me.

This little cocky upstart (The Dodger) spoke like ‘wot I did’. The lad (me) from Tottenham had the native tongue.

A week or so later me mum got the call from me agent. I got the part.

I was neither Victorian nor a trained thief, but I was most definitely The Artful Dodger.

Importantly for me, I had a certain look, and talent, at the time that resembled Dickens’ description of Jack Dawkins, aka The Artful Dodger, and equally some of the actors like Anthony Newley and Jack Wild who had also played the role previously.

Cheeky, street wise, and looked much younger than their years, and bloody well talented of course, but looking younger is a key prerequisite for Dodger and essential for any teenage actor who wants to work consistently in the business.

I didn’t know any of this back then - I was just having fun, enjoying meself.

Cameron really liked me, but he also knew that I would be useful because at 14 going on 15 I had a fair few working days in me than someone a year or so younger.

Short of my age, I looked like the ‘common-faced’ boy Dickens described - minus the bow legs and ugly eyes, I hope.

This column contains extracts from David Garlick’s forthcoming memoir, My Eyes, How Green! Broadway Davey G