Tale of how young actors scooped a
THE teenage cast of Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre has gone back to the history books for its latest show – a premiere that made a bit of history itself. The drama group is staging the Broadway hit A Tale of Two Cities for the first time on a British stage. Scooping the UK premiere of the show, a version of Charles Dickens’ classic which takes place in London and Paris in the 18th century, is a coup for the amateur company. It all started when their choreographer Mhorag Anderson was watching a DVD of the 1997 film A Simple Wish, about a little girl whose actor dad auditions for a musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. Intrigued, Mhorag contacted the publishers Samuel French in London who told her there was a recent American musical called A Tale of Two Cities, which wasn’t available for amateur performance at that time, but would be in future. So AYMT kept pestering until eventually the publishers gave in – resulting in this week’s performance of the show. The music and lyrics were created by US composer Jill Santoriello. She said: “I’m so grateful to AYMT for giving A Tale of Two Cities its UK and Scottish premiere. I’ve heard wonderful things about the calibre of work they do.” AYMT director Shirley McGill said: “Jill has been extremely helpful. Eventually she would like to see A Tale of Two Cities performed professionally in the West End. ” Ailsa Davidson, 17, from Ellon, is playing Madame Lafarge in the show at Aberdeen Arts Centre this week.