Rafael, star of The Ferryman, has been paying taxes since the age of one, while Adiya received glowing reviews for her portrayal of Lyra in The Book of Dust. Say coochy-coo to the babies treading the boards

When their son was seven months old, strangers used to ask Kat West and Jaime Vallés if they fed him sedatives. “No, I don’t drug my baby!” West recalls with mock incredulity. “That was the weirdest question.” But it wasn’t: as Vallés reminds West, someone once asked if their son was animatronic.

West and Vallés were subject to this line of questioning because, for about six months in 2019, their baby boy Rafael played Bobby Carney in The Ferryman. Bobby, as you might have gathered, is also a baby – the youngest character in the Olivier-winning Troubles drama by Jez Butterworth. For the show’s production team, and ultimately its audience, a real baby was miles better than a doll. “The live baby added to the verisimilitude of the production,” said Tim Hoare, associate director at the time. During its Broadway run, four different babies became Bobby, with Rafael playing him four times a week.

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