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Young stars set for poignant performance of Rent at Gala


Jul 16, 2017 ##durham, #Entertainment

Six young performers from a North East stage school are looking forward to their final summer show before heading to prestigious theatre schools across the country later this year.

Andrew Ewart, Stephen Robson, Katie Brace, Ethan Scott, Georgia Lennon and Scarlett Barnfather are all set to perform in Gala Theatre Stage School’s production of Rent, which takes place from Saturday, 29 July to Saturday, 5 August.

The acclaimed musical telling the story of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village will also be a perfect way to celebrate the success of the six performers who have been offered places on a number of courses where they can continue their passion for theatre.

Katie Brace, from Sunderland, will be playing the role of Joanne in the show before going to London School of Musical Theatre later this year.

“I’m so excited to be taking part in Rent and a lot of hard work and commitment has been needed to create a piece of theatre which is both realistic and true to the time,” she said.

“GTSS is my second home – I’ve been at the stage school seven years and the friendships I have formed there will be cherished for life.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about leaving as I’m thrilled to be starting a new chapter and continuing to do what I love but will be sad to leave a lot of people behind.”

Katie – who also assists with teaching the foundation years at GTSS – will not be leaving everyone behind as her co-star in the show Stephen Robson will be heading to the same school in London.

Stephen will play the role of Angel in Rent and said he is getting increasingly excited as the performance gets nearer.

“I’ve already learnt so much about the issues and themes which run through the story and I’m honoured to show an audience these characters and this story we have given life to.

“I am ready to work to achieve what I have been dreaming to do for years now and I’m very grateful that I have been able to open this new chapter in my life by moving to London to continue to train in what I love.”

Another of the show’s stars hoping to continue his career in theatre is Ethan Scott, who will play the leading role of Roger in Rent after seven years at GTSS.

“Rehearsals are going very well – I have fallen in love with the music and am looking forward to playing the role,” he said.

“From the day I started at GTSS seven years ago it has always been an ambition of mine to progress onto theatre school and I am so excited that I recently gained a place at the Guildford School of Acting to study musical theatre.

“A highlight of my time here was the final night of last year’s show Jekyll and Hyde when we all came together for our final bow, but I’m sure this year is going to top that as leaving the school is going to be extremely emotional.”

Following the final performance, Andrew Ewart from Gateshead, will be leaving to train at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, while 18 year-old Georgia Lennon, who plays the role of Mimi, will train at Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey and Scarlett Barnfather will study at East 15 Acting School in London.

Kate Sorahan, Director of GTSS, said: “Not only is this a massive show to produce and direct, it is a poignant show for the cast involved as for many of the them it is their final performance with GTSS as they go off to further their career in performing arts.  

“I guarantee the tears you see from the cast are real as they start to say goodbye to the small world of GTSS and hello to the huge futures ahead of them. I am so proud of every single one of them and wish them all the luck in the world.  What a show to finish on!”

Rent takes place from Saturday, 29 July to Saturday, 5 August at 7.30pm (no show Sunday, 30 July).

Tickets cost £14.50 (£12 concession) or £12 for opening night and can be bought at www.galadurham.co.uk

By Emily