Young wannabes get 'golden' opportunity to star in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End

This Is Lancashire: LITTLE STARS: Teigan Ridgley, Shanice Rasul, Melissa Dyer, Freya Powers, Aaron Varden, Alicia Garland and Jack Griffin LITTLE STARS: Teigan Ridgley, Shanice Rasul, Melissa Dyer, Freya Powers, Aaron Varden, Alicia Garland and Jack Griffin

EIGHT drama-loving youngsters have been handed a “golden ticket” to success – the chance to audition for lead roles in a famous West End stage show.

They could now land jobs as characters in the musical interpretation of Roald Dahl’s captivating children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The kids were put forward by Freak Management, a new agency launched by the managers of Radcliffe-based dance school Freak Dance, based in Dale Street.

Ten-year-olds Jack Griffin and Aaron Varden, both from Bury, have been auditioning for the role of television fanatic Mike Teavee.

Vying for the role of Violet Beauregarde will be 11-year-olds Teigan Ridgley and Alicia Garland, both from Radcliffe, 10-year-old Shanice Rasul, from Whitefield and nine-year-olds Melissa Dyer, Freya Powers and Faye Thomason, all from Radcliffe.

Should any land a role they will be signed on an initial six month contract for the show at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, before rehearsals begin in January.

Freak Dance Manager Jak Wren, aged 24 and from Oldham, runs musical theatre classes for the dance school, owned by Aeron Lloyd-Booth.

Jak said: “We are still in the planning process with Freak Management and were really just dipping our toes in putting in a few calls in to contacts.

“But it started with a boom. The phone began ringing for these kids and hasn’t stopped.

“They have all been completely blown away that they have this opportunity and are being really supportive of each other.

“They just see the auditions as something fun they get to do together and are taking it lightly.”

The £15 million production Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the biggest musical currently playing in the West End.

The young performers have already made it through a rigorous selection process and will compete against children from all over the UK at the audition stage.

Jak added: “We are as excited as the parents were and were jumping up and down, we’re just so happy for the kids.

“Most of them have been with us since day one and have come so far since they began having lessons. This is a massive confidence boost for them.”


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