Tale of how young ac­tors scooped a

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - ARTS AND STAGE - By Sonja Ras­mussen

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.

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