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Youngsters invited to follow in Ed Sheeran's footsteps

Youth Music Theatre are holding auditions on Tyneside this weekend on its talent trawl of 24 cities

Previous Youth Music Theatre performers in action
Previous Youth Music Theatre performers in action

Youngsters who fancy following in the footsteps of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and a host of successful actors are invited to audition for Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT).

YMT, the company’s national music theatre company for people aged 11 to 21, is on a talent trawl of 24 cities and will be at Dance City , Newcastle, on Saturday.

The company is one of eight national youth music organisations supported and recognised by Arts Council England and the Department for Education.

It offers top quality training and mentoring and has proved to be a gateway to the creative industries for keen and talented young people.

Musician Ed Sheeran, a graduate of YMT, is now its patron. “With YMT I experienced the buzz of being on stage and realised hom much I love performing,” he says.

“I say go and audition – you don’t know where it could take you.”

Auditions take the form of a two-and-a-half-hour musical theatre session with workshops in dance, drama and singing led by a professional choreographer, director and musical director. “It is definitely not the sort of scary audition you might have seen on TV talent shows,” says the YMT literature.

“The team will lead a series of practical and fun activities to help make the most of the auditionees’ time and to allow them to show the team exactly what their skills are.”

Around 250 young people from around the country will be chosen and will then be allocated to one of eight new productions to be staged across the UK.

YMT has a track record of turning out successful shows with the 2008 production, Loserville, going to the West End and being nominated for an Olivier Award.

This year’s productions will include the world premiere of Ali & Nino, based on a bestselling book of the 1930s, Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music and a version of Macbeth.

YMT charges a fee but plenty of youngsters seem to have found it money well spent.

Katy Ayling, from North Shields, starred in a number of YMT productions and says: “YMT allowed me to work in a professional environment from a young age with inspiring practitioners and talented peers.

“It has taught me skills that I now use in my pursuit of a career as a professional artist and also which I use in my general life.

“I have had a creative, fulfilling and enjoyable time with the company, as well as making lifelong friends. It is the best possible way to spend your summer”.

Other YMT graduates include Smith, who got to number one with Naughty Boy’s La La La, actress Freya Wilson, who was in the film The King’s Speech, and Charlotte Ritchie from TV comedy series Fresh Meat.

Anyone wanting to attend one of Saturday’s audition sessions (10.30am to 1.15pm and 2pm to 4.45pm) at Dance City can book via www.youthmusictheatre.org/auditions

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