Hartlepool youngsters taking to the stage in professional ballet

From left, Tionne Wyness, Alanna Malt, Libby Cox
From left, Tionne Wyness, Alanna Malt, Libby Cox

A trio of talented young dancers have been hand-picked to star in a professional ballet.

The youngsters from Hartlepool and Peterlee will appear in English Youth Ballet’s production of Giselle.

Amy Drew and Oli Speers in EYB's Giselle.

Amy Drew and Oli Speers in EYB's Giselle.

They’ll be seen on stage in the romantic ballet at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, in Newcastle, on September 9 and 10.

High Tunstall College of Science pupil Libby Cox, 11, from Hartlepool will be playing a villager, 14-year-old Alanna Malt, a Shotton Hall pupil, from Peterlee, will star as a wili spirit, and Tionne Wyness, nine, a Throston Primary School pupil, from Hartlepool, will portray an aristocratic girl.

The girls were chosen out of almost 250 hopefuls who turned up to audition for the show.

It tells the story of peasant girl Giselle who falls in love with the aristocratic Albert, but he betrays her and she dies of a broken heart.

Giselle’s ghost chooses to protect Albert as he visits her leafy graveside. In the forest live the macabre wili spirits, the ghosts of other young women who rise from the grave each night. They will stop at nothing to take their revenge on the menfolk of the town who cross their paths.

Director Janet Lewis said: “We are especially excited about returning to Newcastle with our poignant adaptation of Giselle. We always find extremely talented dancers when we audition for young cast members in Newcastle.

“EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

EYB has helped many of the UK’s top talent springboard into some of the world’s greatest ballet companies, including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.

The company is currently rehearsing for the ballet at Emmanuel School, in West Bridgford.

Principal dancer Amy Drew is coaching the girls.

She said: “The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic.

“They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like. They are living their dream and they just love it.”

The young cast will have just 10 days of rehearsals for the production.

Tickets to see the show cost from £15. To book, go to www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk or call the box office on 0844 2491000.