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Medway student wins dream role in panto

Date: 25/06/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

Photos available: AUDITION HOPEFULS and TARA VERLOOP A Medway teenager will go to the ball this Christmas, after winning the title role in this year’s panto Cinderella. Tara Verloop, 16, from Chatham was among 22 girls competing for the role during open auditions at the Central Theatre on Sunday. The Chatham Grammar School for Girls student is now looking forward to working with a professional cast and crew, and sharing the stage with EastEnders star Joe Swash who will play Buttons in the show this Christmas. The producers, Evolution Pantomimes, were looking for a talented young person from Medway with skills in acting, singing and dancing, as well as the stage presence and personality to carry off the role. The standard was very high, but Tara wowed the judges right across the board. Theatres General Manager Tony Hill said, "It was a hard decision. We had a number of very good girls to choose between. In the end Tara demonstrated that she is a talented performer in all areas - dancing, singing and acting. Medway has such a wealth of performing arts talent and the Central Theatre is pleased to be able give someone like Tara a chance to show what she is capable of. Cinderella is going to be a great show." Although this will be her first professional acting role, Tara is no stranger to the stage. She played Belle’s sister in Beauty and the Beast at The Central Theatre earlier this year, and also appeared in Oliver!, the theatre’s Easter production in 2007. She also dances at the Toni Moss Academy in Strood and takes private singing lessons at school. Tara said “I entered the auditions after my nan read about it in the local paper. It was quite nerve wracking as the others were so good. I am really excited about this opportunity and the school has been very supportive.” Tickets are already on sale for Cinderella, which opens on 12 December and runs until 4 January 2009. For tickets and show times call the box office on 01634 338338 or visit www.medway.gov.uk/theatres