OVER a hundred young dancers, actors and singers will spend the next fortnight putting on a musical from scratch.

Dizzy with nervous excitement, 130 youngsters from as far afield as Reading and Chippenham were queuing in the cold summer sunshine outside the Wyvern Theatre on Sunday morning.

Next Thursday, the same children will be nervously queuing in the theatre’s wings - waiting to go on stage.

Within two weeks the group, aged between nine and 21, will perform musical Summer Holiday.

Based on the 1963 feel-good Cliff Richard blockbuster, the show includes hits In The Country and Summer Holiday.

It is the 24th annual production from the Wyvern Theatre’s Summer Youth Project. The popular scheme sees youngsters learn their lines, dance routines and songs in less than ten days, before putting on a blockbuster show to a paying audience.

The shows are directed and produced by professionals, but the youngsters are expected to do a lot.

Nyree Kingsbury, 49, production coordinator, said: “The children will be doing everything from singing, dancing, acting, as well as being backstage learning about the technical aspects.

“It’s inclusive. We have children who have been dancing, having singing lessons and acting for years. But we also have children who just want to do it for the fun of it and do nothing else [like this] for the rest of the year.”

Nyah Purnell, 15, from Stratton, was returning for her second year with the Summer Youth Project. “I don’t know what to expect. Every year is different.”

Olivia Blackwell, 11, from the Town Centre, said she was “excited” about the show. Mum Leanne, 36, added: “She spends a lot of time on that stage in the Wyvern.”

Reading resident Josh Gasparo, 11, was one of the first in the queue – returning for a second year after starring in last year’s performance of Grease.

“I’m really excited about meeting all my friends again,” he said.

Julie Hughes, 45, from Chippenham, is one of the chaperones on the project – a volunteer who supervises the young groups.

“We love it as much as the kids,” said Julie, whose own two grown-up children used to attend the course.

“The kids come in on the first morning. They’re shy, they wouldn’t say boo to a goose. But the confidence you see growing in them [over the week] is just absolutely amazing.”

Summer Holiday will be performed at the Wyvern Theatre from Thursday August 24 to Saturday August 26.

For tickets and details, visit www.swindontheatres.co.uk or call 01793 524481.