PRESS ARTICLES FOR SOUND OF MUSIC

Future stars unveiled as show comes together - YEP October 23rd 2012

The talented Yorkshire youngsters awarded parts as the Von Trapp children in a forthcoming Sound of Music production have been unveiled. More than 90 children, aged five to 14, auditioned for the roles of six youngsters in the Leeds Amateur Operatic Society's rendition of The Sound of Music, which will be staged at Leeds Grand Theatre next year. Having already cast the role of Liesel, the eldest of the Von Trapp children, the society was looking for two teams of six actors to play the roles of Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Briggitta, Malta and Gretel on alternate nights. The role of Liesel was already filled and that of Friedrich is still left to fill.Successful auditionees  - Eleanor Hemingway, Phoebe Tissiman, Aaron Cawood, Joseph Robinson, Molly-Anne Alston, Abbie Roebuck, Rebecca Mayson, Katie-Mae Ramsey, Charlotte Carr, Mia Speight will start rehearsals soon. The actors who will play Maria and Liese! in the March production attended the auditions, at the David Young Community Academy, in BishopsWay, Seacroft, to narrow down the hopefuls earlier this month.

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ACTORS BRING THE HALLS ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC

School auditions for children aiming to play Von Trapps  -  YEP October 30th 2012

BY JONATHAN BROWN NEWS REPORTER

The halls were alive with the Sound of Music as more than 90 children attended drama auditionsat a Leeds school. The youngsters, all aged between five and 14, were aiming to clinch the roles of six of the Von Trapp children in the Leeds Amateur Operatic Society's (LAOS) rendition of The Sound of Music, which will be staged next year.

Children from theatre and dance schools from across the region attended the auditionsat the David Young Community Academy on Bishops Way, Seacroft, yesterday. After the rest of casting is complete, rehearsals for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical will begin in November, before the cast take to the stage at the Leeds Grand Theatre from March 19 to 23 next year.David Payne, LAOS's publicity officer, said: "To know that these children are going on stage at the Leeds Grand Theatre,it must be one of the pinnacles of their lives at this stage." He said that the hopefuls were asked to sing, dance andact during the audition process. Having already cast the role of Liesel, the eldest of the Von Trapp children, the society was looking for two teams of six actors to play the roles of Friedrich Maria and Liesel in the March production attended the auditions,along with the director, musical director and members of the society's committee, tonarrow down the hopefuls.Mr Payne said the director told more than 30 of the auditionees that they were capable of playing the parts, but only 12could be chosen.

This year LAOS, which puts on two stage shows a year at Leeds Grand Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, performed Chess in spring before Guys and Dolls last month. With famous songs including Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Climb Every Mountain, Do-Re-Mi, and the title song The Sound of Music, the musical will be LAOS's 104th Show at Leeds Grand Theatre.

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JENNIFER SOLVES HER PROBLEM LIKE MARIA           Halifax Courier 14/3/13

By Maggie Woods

Halifax singer to star in The Sound of Music after getting a career boost from the people behind the TV series
Halifax singer Jennifer Burrows will achieve her ambition of playing Maria when Leeds Amateurs present TheSound of Music this month. Following her success as Anita in West Side Story for Leeds Amateurs in 2006, Jenniferauditioned to take part in the BBCl TV series 'How do you solve a problem like Maria?' The show set out to find a girlto play the lead role of Maria Rainer in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's famousmusical at the London Palladium. Although she did not get nto the final ten girls who appeared on TV, she did enoughto make an impression and be offered a BBCmusical theatre bursary to the Maria School to improve her theatre skills.This took her to Guildford School of Acting and from there to a numberof professional productions including touring with Fiddler on the Roofand playing Cinderella in pantomime, Last November, Jennifer, who had now returned to Yorkshire, saw that Leeds Amateurs were to presentThe Sound of Music in 2013 at the Grand and successfully auditioned to achieve her ambition of playing the part of Maria. Jennifer started dance training at the age of three with Dorothy Stevens of Lightcliffe and has played principal roles in productions including Sweet Charity, Fame, A Chorus Line and West Side Story.
Also taking part in the LAOS show at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday March 19 to Saturday, March 23 are Halifax actor Jonathan Hirst, making his LAOS debut as Franz, Anne Tonks from Bradford as the Mother Abbess and Nicole Connor as Sister Margaretta. Darren ROberts takes the role of Capt Von Trapp with Rachel Aston as Baroness Schraeder. Evening performances are at 7.15pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm. For tickets contact 0844 848 2700. 

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PONTEFRACT PAIR ARE LOOKING TO MAKE A GRAND IMPRESSION   Pontefract & Castleford Express 14/3/13


Two actors from Pontefract are set to take leading roles in a production of The Sound of Music at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, later this month. Mike Porter and Rachel Aston will play Max Detweiller and Baroness Schraeder respectively, in Leeds Amateur Operatic Society's production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, which runs from March 19 to 23.

Mike has just celebrated his 25th anniversary as an LAOS member, during which time he has played lead parts in numerous productions, including Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (2001),Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar (2005) and, one of his favourite roles, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof (2010). Prior to joining LAOS, where he is now the society's chairman, he was a long standing member of the Kippax Amateur Operatic Society.

Rachel has been singing and dancing since an early age, in fact she made her stage debut as a rat in the Pied Piper at the age of three. She attended the Leydon Smith school of Theatre Dance and later became president of the Warwick University gospel choir, Revelation, while studying psychology there. She also spent some time in Kenya last year, where she landed a job as a presenter on radio station Fish FM. Tickets for The Sound of Music are £11 to 27.50 from the box office on 0844 848 270091 or www.leedsgrandtheatre.com

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MAJOR THEATRE DEBUTS FOR DUO      Morley Advertiser   7/3/13

By Sarah.hall@wng.co.uk

They'll be paired in one of the show's most well known numbers

Two young musicaJ stars from Morley are toappear at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, in one of the world's best loved shows. Martha-Frances Henry is to appear as Liesl in Leeds Amateur Operatic Society's'production of The Sound of Music, while Ben Lancaster will play Rolf Gruber. The two Morley actors will be paired together in one of the show's most well known numbers, when their characters Liesl and Rolf sing the duet Sixteen, Going On Seventeen. The show will be on at the theatre from March19-23, and it marks the Grand debut for both teenager.

Martha is currently a sixth form student at The Morley Academy, studying drama, dance, music and psychology. Since 2010 she has attended Scala Performing Arts in Horsforth as well as training with The Martinicca Theatre School since she was four. Her first show, aged nine,was Musical Extravanganza with Morley Amateur Operatic Society. With Wakefield Youth Music Theatre, she has played Eponine in Les Miserables, Tina in She Loves You! Yeah!, Gloria/Alex understudy in Flashdance and is soon to be originating the role of Carla in a brand new show, What's the Buzz? She has also just finished playing Meat in The Morley Academy's acclaimed production of We Will RockYou.

Ben will be performingfor the first time with LAOS. He currently studies at the Rachael Swann School of Dance and Renaissance Arts inMorley and has appearedin Les Miserables, She Loves You! Yeah! and Flashdance (playing Jimmy) with Wakefield Youth MusicTheatre. In school productions he has also played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and Galileo in We Will Rock You. He is hoping to achieve a place in a West End stage school in the months ahead to further his training in musica theatre. To buy tickets for theshow call the Grand Theatre box office on 0844 8482700 or book online at www.leedsgrandtheatre.com.

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VETERAN OF 45 MUSICALS FAILS TO STRIKE RIGHT CORD WITH INSURERS    YEP 19/03/13

By Laura Bowyer

Grandfather Ted Webster first took to the stage at the tender age of five to win a chocolate bar.

More than seven decades later, the sprightly Leeds octogenarian still loves nothing better than treading the boards. But now he fears that he will have to stop because he cannot get the right insurance to take to the stage. 

Mr Webster, 80, who lives in West Park with his wife, Ann, will sing alongside the chorus of Leeds Amateur Operatic Society at the Grand Theatre in their latest production The Sound of Music. Over the last seven decades, he has performed in over 45 different musicals and has even taken up karate to ensure he stays fit.

The grandfather-of-seven, who is the Society's oldest member, said: "I just love singing. I'm being forced to stop this year because after 80 you can't get insurance, but I will look around for some local singing groups. There's nothing like erforming at the Grand Theatre or West Yorkshire Playhouse. That buzz you get at the end of the show is incredible."

Mr Webster first sang as a five-year-old at redcar in the Sunshine Corner to win a bar of chocolate. Over the years he has played with his skiffle band at nursing homes across the region and he joined the Amateurs in 1975. The Society's production of The Sound of music runs until Saturday.

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SUPER TED TREADS THE BOARDS  ...  AT 80 YEARS YOUNG         Yorkshire Post 19/03/13


By Laura Bowyer


GRANDFATHER Ted Webster first took to the stage at the tender age of five to win a chocolate bar.More than seven decades later the sprightly Leeds octogenarian still loves nothing better than treading the boards in the spotlight. But now he fears he will have to stop this year because he can't get the right insurance to take to the stage.

Ted, 80, who lives in West Park with his wife, Ann, will sing alongside the chorus of Leeds Amateur Operatic Society at The Grand Theatre in their latest production, The Sound of Music. Over the last seven decades Ted has performed in over 45 different musicals and has even taken up karate to ensure he stays in tip-top condition. The grandfather of seven, who is the Society's oldest member, said: "I just love singing, I'm being forced to stop this year because after 80 you can't get insurance, but I will look around for some local singing groups. There' nothing quite like performing at The Grand Theatre or West Yorkshire Playhouse. That buzz you get at the end of the show is incredible". Ted first sang as a five-year-old at Redcar in the Sunshine Corner to win a bar of chocolate. He was evacuated from West Yorkshire at the age of six to Bossington near Doncaster, and a year 1ater he starred in a play to celebrate the railways. Over the years he has played with his skiffle band at nursing homes across the region and he joined the Amateurs in 1975.

He will star alongside Mia Speight, seven, who is one of the group's youngest members in the Sound of Music which runs until Saturday.