Beauty’s ballet puts talented North Herts youngsters in theatre spotlight for Stevenage show

Some of the North Herts dancers taking part in next week's show

Some of the North Herts dancers taking part in next week's show - Credit: Archant

When one of the world’s best-loved ballets comes to Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre next week you can bet that many members of the audience will be wide awake – keeping a sharp eye out for their young stars in the making among the cast of Sleeping Beauty.

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Megan Luscombe is 17 ye

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Megan Luscombe is 17 years old and she lives in Poplars, Stevenage. She goes to Long Road 6th Form College and is studying dance at Footworks School of Dance. - Credit: Archant

The English Youth Ballet production combines the talents of 100 young performers aged from eight to 18 from Stevenage, North Herts and further afield who have been working for months to prepare for the show and seasoned professionals who will take the principal roles.

There have been 60 hours of rehearsals at Stevenage’s Nobel School in the run-up to the show.

The familiar story – by coincidence also the theme for this year’s panto production at the same theatre – features choreography by EYB artistic director Janet Lewis and her team and a score by Tchaikovsky.

Principal dancer Amy Drew, who will be playing Aurora, said: “The rehearsals in Stevenage are going very well and the children are very expressive and energetic.

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Megan Luscombe is 17 ye

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Megan Luscombe is 17 years old and she lives in Poplars, Stevenage. She goes to Long Road 6th Form College and is studying dance at Footworks School of Dance. - Credit: Archant

“Our productions are drama-led and the kids are really using their bodies and faces to bring the story of the ballet to life.”

Joining her on stage will be Brenden Bratulic, who said: “I am teaching the six boys in the cast – they are really open to learning from me and they are working well as a team.

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“They are doing really well.”

Among the cast is Barclay School pupil Liberty Ferguson, 12, who also trains at the town’s Footworks School of Dance.

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Liberty Ferguson is 12

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Liberty Ferguson is 12 years old and lives in Stevenage. She goes to The Barclay School and is training at Footworks. In the ballet she is dancing the role of one of Auroras Friends. - Credit: Archant

She said: “The good thing is that you get to work with professional dancers.

“It is good to see how confident they are when they perform and I try to be like them.”

Elodie Silver, an eight-year-old pupil at Hitchin’s Whitehill Junior School, is another young member of the cast.

She said: “I am not used to doing so much dancing. I have made lots of new friends here. I like being with all the older children who are so good at dancing.

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Joseph Sheehan (17) liv

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Joseph Sheehan (17) lives in Stevenage. He goes to The Priory School and is training at Aspire School of Dance. - Credit: Archant

“I have told my friends all about it and they are excited about seeing me in the show.”

The English Youth Ballet production of Sleeping Beauty will be staged on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday afternoon.

For tickets call 01438 363200 or visit the website at www.gordon-craig.co.uk.

It’s expected that the Stevenage run of the touring show will raise as much as £2,500 for the children’s ward at the town’s Lister Hospital.

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Elodie Silver is 8 year

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Elodie Silver is 8 years old and lives in Hitchin. She goes to Whitehill Junior School and is training at the Hitchin School of Dance. In the ballet she dances the roles of a Songbird and one of Cinderellas Attendant - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Isla MacLeod is 9 years

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Isla MacLeod is 9 years old and lives in Baldock. She goes to Hartsfield JMI School and is learning her dancing at Perfect Step Dance Studio. In Sleeping Beauty next weekend she will be appearing as a Songbird and Cinderellas Attendant. - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Brenden Bratulic

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Brenden Bratulic - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Amy Drew

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Amy Drew - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Amy Drew and Brenden Br

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Amy Drew and Brenden Bratulic - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage.
Principal dancers Amy D

English Youth Ballet brings Sleeping Beauty to the Gordon Craig, Stevenage. Principal dancers Amy Drew and Brenden Bratulic - Credit: Archant

English Youth Ballet ballerina and company teacher Julianne Rice-Oxley leads the warm up of around 1

English Youth Ballet ballerina and company teacher Julianne Rice-Oxley leads the warm up of around 120 local children for auditions at the Gordon Craig Theatre - Credit: Archant

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