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    • WEST END DIRECTOR IMPRESSED BY LOCAL TALENT

      Tuesday 11 Jun 2013

      Talented young people from across Northern Ireland sang, skipped and danced their way to George Best Belfast City Airport this weekend, armed with legwarmers and sheet music, to battle it out for a place in the 60 strong cast of ‘FAME – The Musical’.

      The musical, and its infamous title song, will be produced by local arts charity Music Theatre 4 Youth (MT4Uth) to be staged at T13 Shared Cultural Space in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast in August.
       
      Musical theatre fans aged 10-23 warmed up, stretched and put on their best stage smiles, before using their singing, acting and dancing abilities to impress the influential audition panel of ‘leading’ men and ladies in musical theatre circles.

      Ruth Morgan, Communications Executive at George Best Belfast City Airport which has sponsored the musical theatre initiative through its Community Fund said:

      “The auditions have been amazing! We were excited to offer the kids a truly unique experience by holding the auditions here in the airport and the kids were equally excited which is absolutely fantastic!

      “The atmosphere in the terminal has been wonderful, and our unsuspecting passengers certainly enjoyed the impromptu performances they were treated to all weekend.

      “The auditions have brought together young people of all backgrounds and from every corner of Northern Ireland, allowing them to showcase their talent and to really shine. This is what the airport’s Community Fund is all about.

      “I am delighted that we have been able to support local existing talent, but also play a part in developing and nurturing new talent.

      “I wish everyone the best of luck and I also wish the panel luck selecting their cast of 60. I look forward to the cast announcement and of course the performance in August.”

      One musical theatre titan on the panel who was delighted with the turn out to the auditions was Phil Willmott, a multi-award winning director who directed the tenth anniversary cast of Fame – The Musical on the West End in 2005.

      Mr. Willmott and the rest of the judges were flown into Belfast City Airport for the auditions from London Gatwick by Aer Lingus, the official travel sponsor of the MT4Uth production. He said:

      “What a decision we have ahead of us now, as a panel! There was a great turn out to the auditions, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate each and every individual who attended.

      “The volume and degree of talent we have seen over the last few days has been extraordinary. The young people we met on Saturday and Sunday have varying levels of experience. Some were quite the performance veterans, whilst some had never attended an audition before and some had never been on stage before.

      “I think it is fantastic that through MT4Uth, these kids have been given a fair opportunity to access the stage, and indeed musical theatre. After being announced, the cast will attend numerous workshops and training sessions where they will be coached and mentored by an international artistic team in developing not only their talent but also their confidence.

      “This is also the first time I have ever attended auditions in an airport which worked really well and I must also congratulate MT4Uth and Belfast City Airport on their partnership which I believe will play a significant role in providing opportunity and building confidence in young people to pursue their hobby of musical theatre.”

      The nail biting wait for the cast to be announced has begun!

      The full cast which will include lead characters Carmen Diaz, Mabel Washington, Serena Katz and a strong ensemble, will be announced in the coming weeks.

      Following the announcement there will be no time to waste as the full cast embarks on an intense 10 day performance boot camp, sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas.

      The performances of the musical at T13 in Belfast on 23rd and 24th August, will provide a further opportunity for members of the cast to impress. A team from the prestigious Arts Educational musical theatre college in London, whose patron is Andrew Lloyd Webber, will be in attendance to select young people from the cast to embark on scholarships at their 2014 Easter and Summer schools.

      For full details of the production, which has also been sponsored by Acapple Construction (Game of Thrones) ARUP Consulting Engineers and Goldblatt McGuigan Accountants, please visit http://www.mt4uth.com/