THREE budding young thespians are treading the boards in front of packed audiences at a prestigious theatre.
Chloe Lawton, Courtney Hadwin and Matthew Johnson, who attend The Academy at Shotton Hall Theatre School, in Waveney Road, Peterlee, have each landed roles in the Newcastle-based Northern Stage’s production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
They won their parts, which involve singing and acting, after auditioning earlier in the year.
They are performing in the version of the Tennessee Williams classic throughout this week in front of audiences at Northern Stage, which is formerly Newcastle Playhouse.
For the audition, Chloe, 11, who attends The Academy at Shotton Hall, Courtney, a 10-year-old Hesleden Primary School student, and Matthew, 11, who attends Spennymoor Comprehensive School, had to learn a piece of script and then sing in a deep soul accent.
Chloe and Courtney landed the role of Dixie while Matthew plays Buster.
Theatre school staff say the lucky students are thoroughly enjoying their once-in--lifetime experience and working and learning alongside the professional cast and crew – and that it’s the start of things to come.
Kathryn Ackley, the theatre school’s community arts co-ordinator, said: “The theatre school links in with a casting agency called Peanuts Casting and the auditions came via Peanuts.
“Courtney, Chloe and Matthew took part in press launches last week and have been performing this week to around 250 people each night.
“We are all really proud of their achievements and that they were able to work with the script in front of a panel of professional directors.
“It is the start of things to come. The fact they are able to work with professional actors in a professional theatre using what they learn at theatre school week in, week out, is just incredible.
“They are testiment to the theatre school and the work within the arts at The Academy at Shotton Hall.”