SWINDON’S Summer Youth Project notches up 20 years of giving youngsters a taste of professional theatre this year.
The Wyvern Theatre has a team of professionals and a cast and crew of 250 young people, who work together each year to produce a full- scale musical, in just two weeks.
To mark the special anniversary the show this year is Bugsy Malone, which was the first show presented by the project in 1994.
Anna Mcnamara, who played Blousey in that production, has organised a reunion of many of the old cast for this year’s show.
Fraser Green, 18, who is beginning drama school at the new Wilkes Academy in Swindon in September, is taking the part of Bugsy this time round. He landed the part a month ago, following auditions in May. He said: “I am really excited and so much looking forward to it, particularly as it is the 20th anniversary.’’ Based on the life of Chicago gangster Bugs Moran, Bugsy Malone, is a farcical romp through some slapstick comedy, sharp dialogue and the off-the-wall idea of using children to portray the shady underworld of the Prohibition Era.
Fraser said: “It is an iconic film with childhood effects, but as I am an 18-year-old doing it I want to bring more emotion to it, make it a bit more gritty.’’ The stage show is based on the film by Alan Parker and the subject matter is lightened for children, but there is a still a love scene between Bugsy and Blousey, but Fraser says the director, Matthew Dye, is really good at helping his leading actors in complex scenes. Fraser met Emily Bedford, who plays Blousey, when they performed in last year’s project, Our House, based on the music of Madness.
Fraser said: “Matthew takes you off on your own for the love scenes and works with you. He gets in to your mind.’’ Bugsy the performance runs from Thursday, August 21 to Sunday, August 24 and tickets are from £12 on 01793 524481.