LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: The young cast of Matilda will take to the stage at Barnard Castle School this weekend
LET US ENTERTAIN YOU: The young cast of Matilda will take to the stage at Barnard Castle School this weekend

TEESDALE Operatic Society is taking to the stage this week with the group’s first youth production.
Matilda will be performed at Barnard Castle School from Friday, April 22, to Sunday, April 24.
The show follows hot on
the heels of the society's debut production, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which played to sell-out audiences at the end of last year.
This time, the 37-string cast is made up of youngsters aged eight to 17, with ten-year-old Holly Wake taking the leading role.
Director Dawn Trevor said the young cast had been hard at work in rehearsals since January, working along Richard Dawson, the director of music, and Scott Edwards, the head of drama at Barnard Castle School.
“It will be an hour-long show, a condensed version of the West End production,” said Ms Trevor.
She said the cast had been drawn from near and far, with youngsters from Barnard Castle School, Teesdale School, Polam and Carmel, in Darlington, and Richmond.
Others had been drawn from local primary schools.
“It was very much open to everyone,” she added.
Ms Trevor said Holly had taken her by surprise when she came in for the auditions.
“I did not know her at all. She came in and was exceptional.”
Holly, who goes to Abbey Primary School, in Darlington, said she didn't want the chance to play Matilda to pass her by.
“I knew if I did not do it soon, I would be too old. It's a great opportunity and I have loved it,” she said.
Although no stranger to the stage, she said Matilda was the biggest show she had been involved in to date, adding that her ambition was to be on the West End.
There will be three evening performances of Matilda, starting at 7.30pm, with 3pm matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are £14 and 10 (U15s) available at www.ticket source.co.uk – search for Tees dale Operatic Society – or go to www.teesdsaleoperaticsociety.co.uk and click on the link for tickets.
Next on the agenda for the operatic is Walk in the West End, a show which will feature songs from every West End Theatre. This will be staged at The Witham on July 1 and 2.
Then later in the year, the society will take to the stage with A Little Shop of Horrors.