TALENTED youngsters are set to shine when they take to the stage for a new production.
Some of the brightest up-and-coming stars in Sunderland and across the North East will feature in Billy Elliot the Musical at the Park View Theatre, Chester-le-Street.
Writer Lee Hall and composer Martin Koch have adapted their original script and orchestrations to produce a shortened version of the West End and Broadway hit exclusively for local groups.
“I am fascinated to see what different interpretations emerge,” said Lee. “Unlike the show at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London, most people will be doing it without money and resources.
“I am looking forward to seeing how creative and imaginative people will be doing it with nothing.”
Many members of the cast recently performed as part of a Billy Youth Theatre project at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.
The national scheme brings together aspiring performers aged from 10 to 19 from schools and youth groups across England, Scotland and Wales.
“I am really looking forward to performing and seeing the show,” said Katie Doherty, an award-winning North-East-based singer-songwriter.
FWM Productions was one of six groups chosen from the region to perform excerpts from the show.
Company director Keith Fairley, who is also producing the show, said: “We have quite a few children who come from under-privileged areas. Normally, they wouldn’t get the chance to perform on stage in any show, never mind Billy Elliot.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for the young people of the North East.”
He added: “Billy Elliot is a story close to everyone from around here, as this is where Billy grew up.”
Mr Fairley originally worked as a school teacher before setting up his own media business.
“I am used to working with young people and know that they have so much potential, but often they don’t get the chance to show it,” he said.
“I’m passionate about giving young people this chance to take part in a show that comes from London’s West End and we want to make it just as professional.”
Billy Elliot the Musical will be at Park View Theatre, Chester-le-Street, from June 22 to 25.
Tickets, which are on sale now, can be purchased from www.fwmproductions.com or by calling 0845 557 0492.
Special rates and discounts will be offered on group and family bookings.