Sam lands the starring role

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A young actor from Bonsall is to take on the title role in a production of Smike.

Sam Land, 11, will be playing the part in the musical loosely based on the story of Nicholas Nickleby at the Theatreworks Studios. The part requires him to sing a number of solos and ensemble songs together with the cast of 44 young actors.

Director Kirsty Williams said: “When I auditioned Sam, I could see his potential. He has a certain innocent quality which we needed for the role, together with a stunning, natural voice. It was an easy decision to cast him as Smike and it has been a pleasure working with him”.

It seems to be a family affair with Sam’s sister Freya Land, eight, also appearing, with other Derbyshire children and young people.

Rehearsals had been going very smoothly until Sam had an accident at a trials bike event which saw him rushed to hospital with a suspected fractured arm. Fortunately, the x-ray revealed only soft tissue damage but his arm has been in a sling.

Kirsty Williams added: “Despite having restricted mobility with his arm in a sling, Sam managed to dance and act really well in rehearsals. He has shown great maturity in the way he has handled it”.

The play is set in the modern day with a flashback to the Victorian era. This has proved a challenge for the production team, who are still sourcing Victorian items and costumes. The musical features songs of all genres and is fun for all ages.

All the cast are members of the Theatreworks Performing Arts School in Bonsall and range in age from 6-19 years. The performances are on Saturday, July 20, at 7pm and Sunday, July 21, at 5pm. Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.com/theatreworks.