Published: 14/02/2014 15:44 - Updated: 14/02/2014 18:06

Youngsters' audition chance

Ellen MacAskill from Inverness in YMT's Nikki And The Gang.
Ellen MacAskill from Inverness in YMT's Nikki And The Gang.

Auditions and workshops by Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) come to Inverness on Monday in a search for the best actors, singers, dancers, musicians and back stage crew to join their company in 2014.

Ed Sheeran, who worked as a youngster with YMT and is now the organisation's patron, said“With YMT I experienced the buzz of being on stage – and realised how much I love performing. I say go and audition – you don’t know where it could take you!”

And Inverness YMT member Ellen MacAskill said about the experience:Youth Music Theatre lets you spend two weeks doing what you love with interesting, inventive and like-minded people. And if you don't get into a production at first - persist! I promise it's worth it.”

As part of auditions beind held in 24 UK cities, YMT comes to Inverness for Monday's visit with sessions running at the Spectrum Centre next to the bus station in Farraline Square from 10.30am-13.15pm and from 20-4.45pm.

Hopeful young performers, aged 11-21, can book their place for the workshop and audition tour online at www.youthmusictheatreuk.org/auditions

Youth Music Theatre UK is a national music theatre company for young people aged 11-21, offering training and mentoring and a proven way for young people to enter the creative industries – whether as a performer, musician, stagehand or administrator.

Successful auditionees will work with some of the UK’s leading professional directors, composers and choreographers to stage full-scale productions at some of the country’s most respected theatres and arts festivals. 

They’ll get the chance to learn new skills, make friends and take their first steps in a career in the performing arts. Those taking part in YMT musicals will be awarded with Trinity College’s Grade 8 certificates in musical theatre!

YMT graduates have gone on to make their mark in the performing arts – in West End musicals, on TV and even in Hollywood blockbusters. Recent graduates include Ed Sheeran, The King’s Speech star Freya Wilson, Sam Smith, whose number one single with Naughty Boy, La La La, is one of the biggest selling songs of the year, Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Ritchie and pop stars Jetta and Tich.

YMT's 2008 show Loserville recently played in the West End, starring Eastenders’ Aaron Sidwell and Lil Chris and was nominated for an Olivier Award for best new musical.

Productions for 2014 will include the world premiere of Ali and Nino, based on Terry Pratchett's best-selling novel, Soul Music at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, an actor/musician production of Macbeth at the Lyric Theatre Belfast and Lindsay Kemp’s Variété at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Auditions take the form of a musical theatre workshop with a two and a half hour session of dance/drama/singing workshops led by a professional director, choreographer and musical director.

YMT want to emphasise that the audition's definitely not the scary kind seen on TV talent shows. The team will lead a series of practical and fun activities to help make the most of the auditionee's time and to allow them to show the team exactly what their skills are. 

The audition team includes Matilda and Top Hat associate director Luke Sheppard, Southwark Playhouse director Ellie Jones, musical directors Paul Herbert and Professor Derek Barnes and choreographers Vicki Manderson (National Theatre of Scotland and Curious Incident…) and Yael Loewenstein (English Touring Opera, Young Vic).

After all the auditions have taken place, YMT will announce the performers chosen for one of eight new productions they’ll be putting on across the UK. Around 250 young people are selected and everyone will hear before the end of March 2014.  

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