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West End Stars Share Tricks Of The Trade


Leading stars of stage and screen are set to visit Cheltenham this summer and are looking for aspiring young actors, singers and dancers aged between 8 and 19.

A team of experienced performers from world famous West End shows, television programmes and tutors from top drama schools are working with The Big Act, a leading youth arts organisation based in the south west to run the ‘West End Boot Camps’. The boot camp will run for five days at The Cheltenham Ladies’ College and will see the participants performing together in a specially devised showcase at the end of the week.

Martin Williams, director of The Big Act says “We’re very excited about the boot camp and think it’s really important that young people from the west country get the opportunity to work with top class, leading performers.”

He adds “It’s always lots of fun and very exciting to be a part of it. We really do only have one week to prepare the whole performance.

Everybody turns up Monday not knowing each other and by the time they leave on Friday you would think they were all lifelong friends.”

The team includes actor Liam Doyle who joins The Big Act straight from playing the role of Link Larkin in the number one tour of Hairspray The Musical alongside Michael Ball and Les Dennis. Previously to Hairspray Liam won the hearts of the nation when he was voted as winner of GM TV’s competition ‘Search For Troy’ which saw him win the part of Troy in High School Musical 2 onstage. Liam says “I’m thrilled to be working with The Big Act on this exciting project. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to get an amazing and fun experience, furthering their skills at the same time.”

Other performers include cast members from Mamma Mia! as well as favourites such as Chicago, Cats, Doctor Doolittle, Joseph, Miss Saigon, Grease and West Side Story. The team also includes lecturers from leading performing arts colleges Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London Studio Centre and Italia Conti.

Everybody who takes part will be taught by the experienced team and receive expert tuition, allowing them to develop their own performance skills and pick up tricks of the trade. Courses are open to young people of all abilities.

The Big Act, who run performing arts schools across the region are no strangers to producing shows in such a short space of time, having recently performed Fame The Musical at Bristol Hippodrome after only 48 hours rehearsal! “That’s a great project, it’s kind of like ‘guerilla theatre making’. It’s very much against the clock - every second counts and every minute makes a difference. The boot camps allow us more time to work in depth. The students get an awful lot out of it, we can scratch beneath the surface!”

West End Boot Camps are open to anybody aged between 8 and 19 years old without audition and places are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Courses run 25-29 July at The Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Other venues include Bristol, Weston Super Mare and Exeter. There are also shorter courses for 4-7 year olds.

Visit for further information or call 0870 881 0367.

Dates and venues are as follows:

Cheltenham Ladies’ College
25-29 July 2011

Tobacco Factory
1-5 August 2011

Exeter Phoenix
8-12 August 2011

The Blakehay
15-19 August 2011

Hanham High School
22-26 August 2011