Young talent takes centre stage in Wolverhampton

Published: 13 July 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Young musical theatre fans can enjoy a week of working with the stars of London’s West End this summer as Wolverhampton Grand hosts a summer school.

A programme of workshops in music, drama and dance offers youngsters the opportunity to work and perform alongside top professionals.

For the first time this year’s summer school will culminate in a one-off concert performance featuring 50 young performers from across the Midlands.

Heading the creative team as summer school concert director is Jim Henson who was musical director for Blood Brothers and We Will Rock You.

Joining the young cast on stage are West End workshop leader Craig Whitely (Blood Brothers, Scrooge), Daniela Valvano from The Rocky Horror Show, Legally Blonde favourite Gemma Baird and international casting director Karl Davies.

Grand Theatre education officer Louise Bent commented, “West End summer school is now in its third year at the Grand and it gets bigger and better every year.

“It’s the most amazing opportunity for young people to work with the professionals behind some of London’s biggest musicals. It really is the highlight of the summer for our young theatre fans.”

West End summer school co-ordinator Craig Whiteley added, “This is my third year of bringing the school to Wolverhampton Grand.

“It’s my favourite date in the diary as the kids here are so respectful. They eat, sleep and breathe theatre.

“Our aim is to feature every child in our concert alongside the stars and we treat the students like professionals which helps us achieve a fantastic final product.

“The course builds confidence and is a lot of fun. It shows the students how difficult yet how rewarding a career in professional theatre can be.”

The summer school will be held for children aged between 9 and 19 from Monday until Saturday, 5 until 11 August. The cost is £150 for get-in youth scheme members and £170 for non-members.

Tickets for the concert cost £10 for adults and £5 for children.