Young performers set for a musical debut at Waterfront

A snapshot of 'Strive', the hotly anticipated musical set for the stage on Saturday.
A snapshot of 'Strive', the hotly anticipated musical set for the stage on Saturday.

Budding young performers will take to the stage at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall for Strive, The Musical, which is the latest production from the Strive Academy for Performing Arts.

The show is billed as a “story of passion, love and taking chances against all odds” and promises a wealth of catchy songs, snappy dialogue and dramatic storylines in a production described as being something like “Fame meets High School Musical”. It sounds like perfect entertainment for the Glee-obsessed generation.

Over 70 young people aged between three and 20 have been rehearsing their dance moves and perfecting the melodies and dialogue that should make this a winning spectacle.

Open auditions were held almost six months ago and since then young people involved have been participating in workshops with industry professionals in vocal training and acting.

The opening number is an elaborate display of ballet, hip-hop and other dance styles as the brand new musical theatre work sets out to explore family relationships, friendships, teenage kicks and heartache.

All the performers are newbies to the drama scene with the exception of one of Strive’s youngest members - three-year-old Murray Speers, who recently appeared alongside James Nesbitt in ITV’s The Secret

Pamela Cassells, PCSP founder and associate director and choreographer with C21 Theatre Company has worked on this production alongside composer and musical director Mark Dougherty who is best known for his work with Riverdance and Brigid Shine, a graduate in musical theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Strive helps young acting and singing talents to perfect their skills, giving young people a sense of what it might be like to work in the acting profession.

Pamela Cassels is co-writer and director of the production:“I’ve trained and directed young people for 15 years and this is by far the most exciting project I’ve been involved in. The cast are incredible and I just can’t wait to see the audience reaction to the catchy songs and the captivating storylines.”

Strive, June 11 at 2pm and 7.30pm at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. Call 02890 334400.