Sunderland brothers play gang rivals in Bugsy

Evan, 11, left and Owen, nine, Shepherd, of Farringdon Avenue, Sunderland, who have got roles in opposing gangs in the Northern Youth Theatre's version og Bugsy Malone.

Evan, 11, left and Owen, nine, Shepherd, of Farringdon Avenue, Sunderland, who have got roles in opposing gangs in the Northern Youth Theatre's version og Bugsy Malone.

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BROTHERS will play gang rivals in their debut theatre performance when they star in Bugsy Malone.

Evan and Owen Shepherd will take to the stage as members of Fat Sam’s and Dandy Dan’s gangs in the Northern Youth Theatre Shows (NYTS) first ever performance of the classic tale.

The brothers, both East Herrington Primary School pupils, picked up minor principal roles in the comedy show.

Mum Julie-Ann, 32, couldn’t be happier.

“I am really pleased,” she said.

“I think it will be emotional on the night seeing my babies up there on the stage for the first time.”

Evan, 11, and Owen, nine, have both sung in East Herrington Primary School choir at the City Sings Annual Choir Competition in the past, and are following in the father’s dramatic footsteps by taking up the roles in Bugsy Malone.

Gary Shepherd, 32, who works for Barclays, has a college degree in performing arts.

“He is very into drama, and I think he would have liked to pursue acting as a career, but the opportunities weren’t there when we were younger,” said Julie-Ann. “Gary is absolutely delighted.

“He will be there with a camera on the night.

“The boys have two other brothers, Liam, 12 and Lucas, six, who I think are more excited to see their brothers up there than the boys are themselves.”

Bugsy Malone will be the first show NYTS has put on, and will be performed at the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20.

The show will have four pupils from East Herrington Primary School starring in it. Budding actors Jaycee Pink, nine, and Vinny Pink, seven, will star alongside their school friends in the production.

“The boys haven’t said how they feel about being in rival gangs on stage,” said Julie-Ann, who works in customer services for Royal Mail.

“They haven’t mentioned it, but we are quite a close family so it might be strange for them.

“They are delighted to be in it though, and enjoying every minute of rehearsals.”