Hundreds of kids flock to Opera House for Oliver!

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This summer, hundreds of young people from all over Northern Ireland will descend on the Grand Opera House in Belfast for the Summer Youth Project’s production of the hit Dickensian musical Oliver!

Coca Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland continue to support the Summer Youth Project, where 233 of Northern Ireland’s most talented young performers, aged between nine and 18 years, will take to the stage at this iconic venue for four performances only.

Two Belfast boys - Andrew Montgomery and Luke Fields - will share the role of Oliver. The part of Dodger will be shared by Sam Gibson from Killinchy and Conor Cox from Hilsborough, while 16-year-old Tommy Bell from Bangor will play Fagan, with Emiko Seawright (17) from Bangor as Nancy, and 18-year-old Conor Headley from Lurgan as the sinister Bill Sykes.

Ten-year-old Andrew was over the moon when he found out he would be taking on the lead role of Oliver.

Andrew is no stranger to the stage, having performed with Fortwilliam Musical Society.

Taking after his mother Jill, who choreographs shows for companies throughout Northern Ireland, Andrew loves to dance, taking lessons in Irish dancing and hip hop.

He has also just returned from filming The Relic in London, a follow up to the hit BBC thriller The Missing.

Andrew has also been in a production of Oliver! in the Grand Opera House in the past, but this time he is looking forward to stepping onto the stage in the title role.

“I really like the show and I was so excited when I got the part,” said Andrew. “I just went along to dance in the show and mum told me to audition for Oliver! but not to be sad if I didn’t get it.

“I get really nervous before I go on stage but I’m ok once I start and I am really looking forward to it.

“It will be a lot of hard work but it will be really fun.”

Directed by Tony Finnegan, with musical direction by Wilson Shields and choreography by Rebecca Leonard, this production promises to showcase the very best of young talent from across Northern Ireland.

Tickets are priced from £13.75-£22.25 and are available online at goh.co.uk, or from the Box Office on 028 9024 1919.