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Barkingside stage stars put on West End show OMG!

09:00 04 August 2014

OMG cast. Picture: Make Believe UK

OMG cast. Picture: Make Believe UK

PIA BALLARD

Budding stage stars have graced the West End in a mini season of performances of a “mega mix” musical in London.

Youngsters from Make Believe performing arts company, which has its head office in Southend Road, Woodford Green, put on five showings of musical OMG! at the Novello Theatre in Aldwych.

The all-singing, all-dancing cast of youngsters were chosen at auditions to earn their places in the musical, which combines tunes from well-known West End productions.

The show, directed and choreographed by Make Believe’s Andy Thwaite and Emma Murphy, opened its final night to a packed audience on Sunday.

Ben Matthews, 10, of Barkingside, who said working on the show was a “dream come true”, added: “I cannot thank Make Believe enough for trusting me to perform in the same theatre as the smash hit Mamma Mia.”

He continued: “With hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”

Make Believe provides after-school classes to more than 2,000 children from east London and Essex, and gives them the opportunity to ­become resident actors within the production company.

Make Believe founder and OMG! producer Joel Kern, 25, said: “We have played off-West End venues for the past seven years and decided to give our talented youngsters an opportunity to test themselves at one of the UK’s most prestigious venues.”

Mr Kern added: “Their [the children’s] response was amazing! Youngsters come to us to learn and enjoy performing arts and these five magical performances have confirmed that they are able to perform at the highest level.”

The performing arts company, started by Mr Kern when he was 15, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and an award from the Federation of Small Business for Young Entrepreneur, which he received earlier this year.

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