July 5, 2008

Stage Show is Wizard for Youngsters

Youngsters from the award-winning Dean Verbeck Performance Factory are treading the boards at the Dylan Thomas Theatre this week in a production of The Wizard of Oz.

The Swansea stage school, which provides weekly classes for children aged between three and 19 in singing, dance and drama, is celebrating its second year.

Around 200 youngsters attend the school every week.

Members have performed at Swansea's Liberty Stadium and Grand Theatre, and before 40,000 people at the switch-on of the Swansea Christmas lights.

Mr Verbeck has recently set up a dance academy that includes tuition in hip-hop, street jazz, musical theatre and ballet after they leave the stage school.

He is also opening a theatrical agency to give the children the opportunity to audition and work in professional theatre and film.

Mr Verbeck said: "This was a natural progression for us because we have some talented children who really want to perform professionally and need guidance."

Student Elise Addiscott, who was a finalist in Miss Wales 2008, has gained a place at the prestigious London Studio Centre, where she will train for three years in musical theatre.

The last performance of The Wizard of Oz production at the Dylan Thomas Theatre is tomorrow.

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