A young Peterborough dancer is hoping his perfect steps will allow him to make giant leaps in his future career - and impress his hero in the process.
Charlie Mellor (17) from Hampton Vale has earned himself a spot on the cast of Romeo and Juliet, the latest show by legendary director Sir Matthew Bourne’s firm New Adventures.
Charlie had to beat more than 1,000 other dancers to get his spot - and he is planning on grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
He said he had been surprised when he learnt he had been given the part for the Canterbury shows.
Charlie - who now studies at the prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, said: “I was really surprised as it was such a well-known company and the competition would be very stiff.
“There will be some intensive weekends throughout the forthcoming year and one week of long rehearsals before a week of shows in Canterbury. This is a great opportunity to be seen by one of my heroes Sir Matthew Bourne and give me a good insight into the industry.”
Sir Matthew is the only British director to have won Tony Awards (the top awards for musicals) for the Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography.
Charlie will be performing in the show when it visits Canterbury in September next year, but he is no stranger to the big stage, having discovered his passion for dancing at the tender age of three-and-a-half. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards and bursaries including the Cecchetti Society award in 2012 and runner-up in the Cecchetti Society Mabel Ryan awards at Sadler’s Wells in 2013.
He said: “I joined Oundle School of Ballet, aged three. My parents were looking for an activity for me to take part in and from very early on, I loved it and knew I wanted to continue with.
“I have performed at Drury Lane in a Red Cross charity event and at the Lilian Baylis Studio, at Sadlers Wells in the Cecchetti Awards.
“Romeo and Juliet is my biggest opportunity and I will be performing on stage for longer. It is much more prestigious but also much more pressure.”
While the shows are not starting until next year, Charlie said he was looking forward to getting on stage - and was expecting his large extended family to all be in the audience.
The former Hampton College lad is following in famous footsteps, with a number of big names having started their performing career at Tring.
Daisy Ridley, best known for playing Rey in the latest Star Wars films, started at the school, while Lily James, who appeared in Mama Mia! and Disney’s Cinderella, and Jessica Brown-Findlay, from Downton Abbey also studied at the school.