Local youth actors 'ready for their close up' in Grand Opera House's Sunset Boulevard

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A Limavady Grammar School student is preparing to step onto the stage of Belfast’s Grand Opera House in a summer youth production of ‘Sunset Boulevard’.

One of the most powerful and memorable musicals, Sunset Boulevard marks the thirteenth Summer Youth Production by the Grand Opera House – and there’s just one week to go until Holly Deane joins a cast of seventy 16-to-21-year-old performers on stage.

Holly, who has just completed her final year at Limavady Grammar, comes from Londonderry and is now enjoying her third year participating in the GOH’s summer productions.

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A long-standing member of Londonderry Musical Society (LMS), Holly said: “I have performed with the GOH Summer Youth Production for the past two years and this is my third year. I enjoyed it so much the last two years I couldn’t not audition again this year, as it is such an amazing experience.

Holly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOHHolly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOH
Holly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOH

"This will be my first time performing in the show Sunset Boulevard which I am very excited about. I have learned that preparing and performing a whole show in the space of two weeks is very challenging, but it is definitely all worth it in the end.

"For opening night, I am most excited to finally get an audience in to watch all the hard work we have put into the production.”

Joining Holly on stage will be another member of LMS, Emma Murray from Derry.

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Emma, who attends Lumen Christie College in the city, said: “I have a real love for musical theatre, and I have seen a lot about the GOH Summer Youth production over the years. I wanted to pursue my passion and perform in a prestigious and world recognised theatre like the GOH, so I am delighted to be involved.

Holly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOHHolly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOH
Holly Deane and Emma Murray in rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard at the Grand Opera House. Credit GOH

"I have learnt a lot so far. It has been a great opportunity to travel and get an insight into the world of theatre as actors need to be committed and go to where the roles are. It is a great experience to learn from a professional production team that I’ve never worked with before and to work in a such a professional setting.

"I love the feeling of opening night in any production and the excitement of waiting to step out on stage. I’m excited to see how the show comes together and for the audience and my family to see the hard work everyone has put into this production.”

The youth cast have spent two weeks in intensive rehearsals before taking to the iconic Grand Opera House stage for four performances running from 18 - 20 July, supported by a professional theatre director, musical director, choreographer, technical team, and an orchestra of 20 musicians.

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Based on the Billy Wilder film of the same title and famously rated as one of the greatest films ever made, the musical version of Sunset Boulevard, with its heart-stopping music and dance, will give the Summer Youth Production’s young stars the perfect platform to shine and captivate audiences with their talent.

Tickets can be booked at goh.co.uk.

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