Sunderland children to make debut in show premiere

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YOUNG thespians are set to debut their skills at the premiere of a new show.

Jacee Pink, nine, and Evan Shepherd, 11, are honing their acting talents as they get ready to perform in the first staging of Some Enchanted Evenings.

The show, at the Durham Gala Theatre, celebrates the life of Broadway composer Richard Rodgers – half of Rodgers and Hammerstein – and has been written by Durham Musical Theatre Company director Fred Wharton.

Jacee, from Humbledon, and Evan, from East Herrington, are among 18 children who form part of the 80-strong cast. The children, who both attend East Herrington Primary School, are already in rehearsals for the performances – from June 20 to 22 – as more than 50 musical numbers from shows including Carousel, South Pacific and Oklahoma have to be learned.

“I was a bit concerned about whether Jacee would be overwhelmed by the show and performing with a big adult cast,” said her mum Amy, 31. “But she is so confident and outgoing that she is just loving it.

“Hopefully, a show like this will give her and Evan the opportunity to get noticed by even more people.

“Evan hadn’t had any training before he got a part in Bugsy.

“But he’s a really good little actor, and now he’s found his thing, so hopefully he will get more from this.”

Anthony Smith, publicity officer for Durham Musical Theatre Company, said: “The children were auditioned to show their singing and dancing abilities as well as their personalities. This is especially important when they are being asked to perform as a small group on a large stage.”