Self-taught dancer picked to star in Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies

John Hansford will be in the new production of Lord of the Flies.
John Hansford will be in the new production of Lord of the Flies.
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A TEENAGER who taught himself to dance in his bedroom is to appear in a nationally celebrated stage show.

John Hansford, 19, has been selected over hundreds of auditionees to dance in legendary choreographer Matthew Bourne’s production of Lord of the Flies.

John Hansford will be in the new production of Lord of the Flies.

John Hansford will be in the new production of Lord of the Flies.

Many artists see it as the pinnacle of their career to appear in a Bourne show, which are famed for their fantastical take on classic tales such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

And now fledgeling dancer John has been given the chance of a lifetime - just four years after teaching himself the art.

Over the next week, he’ll be taking part in intense rehearsals with professional dancers from the show ahead of opening night at Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

John, of Basingstoke Road, Peterlee, said: “It started one Christmas. I was bored and started watching films such as Step Up which really got me into hip hop and break dancing.

“I started practising outside my house and in my bedroom and then I got into street dance competitions.”

The East Durham College student added: “I read about the auditions in the paper and though it’s a completely different style for me, I thought it would be a great opportunity. We have set routines in the show, but we’re allowed to put our own spin on it.”

In total, sixteen boys, aged 10 to 21, from across the region have been chosen to appear in the collaboration between professional dancers and young people.

The show features author William Golding’s famous characters Ralph, Piggy, Jack and the boys who, after being deserted, create their own rules and civilisation.

Matthew Bourne said: “Lord of the Flies is a project never before mounted on the large-scale. This unique collaboration between my production company, New Adventures, and charity, Re:Bourne will enable young people and their families across the North-East to experience dance at close hand, and for many, for the very first time.

“Our outstanding company of professional dancers will inspire and nurture the young cast which will not only be exciting, but for some, life-changing.”

Kate Pilbeam, one of two Lord of the Flies ambassadors who have led workshops to unearth the young talent, said: “We have met so many talented boys and young men over the last few weeks.

“It has been amazing watching them dance and we’ve been so impressed by the level of talent. This has made it very difficult to make a final decision, however, we are confident that we have found 16 brilliant young dancers who will be excellent cast members.”