Curtain goes up on search for new city stage stars

DANCE experts are searching for untapped talent to take part in a major stage production.

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The King's Theatre and Matthew Bourne's New ­Adventures are scouring Glasgow for young male ­performers to take part in the acclaimed Lord of the Flies.

Two dance ambassadors, Hayley Earlam and Lucy Wild, need to find 16, 10 to 25-year-olds to perform alongside the professional cast.

Hayley, 24, said: "We do schools workshops and youth sessions and are currently in the first stage of getting ­people excited about the ­project and carrying out workshops to see what talent is out there."

New Adventures, the company of five-time Olivier Award winning choreographer Matthew Bourne, is ­taking Lord of the Flies on a UK tour.

And in each city it visits, the show is sourcing new ­talent to perform in the ballet.

Hayley and Lucy, 25, both freelance dance artists, were picked to teach the outreach programme.

She said: "We break the boys in gently and don't even mention the word 'dance'.

"The story of Lord of the Flies has great appeal for the boys and we do sport and games and get them used to us and highlight what they can do - especially boys who have never danced before.

"Very soon their preconceptions get thrown out the window.

"There is a lot of drama and acting but no speech and a lot of them are really ­surprised that there is no ­dialogue at all in it.

"They learn that they can tell the stories just with their bodies and they are amazed that they can do that."

Following the workshops there will be auditions in May with the final boys chosen to perform at the King's from June 11 to 14.

And the boys' involvement is no token part - they will be onstage with the professional cast for the full show.

Hayley added: "The boys who have never danced ­before are really flourishing and learning that they can be interested in dance.

"We have been right there from the beginning, so we will be working with them right through the rehearsals and while the performance is in Glasgow.

"This was first done in Glasgow and it was such a success that it's being done again in cities all over Scotland, so there's a lot of pressure on Glasgow to show that it was the right thing to bring it back.

"Choosing the final 16 to take part will be the hardest thing I ever do and, when the show is on, Lucy and I will be standing in the wings crying with pride."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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