TWO pupils from Mayville High School, Southsea, are getting ready to take to the stage as they join the London Children’s Ballet in London’s West End.
Sophia-Ellis Shipp and Lewis Heath will be joining the dance company at the Peacock Theatre for their production of ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ in April.
The year nine and 11 pupils are joining the cast for the world premiere of the ballet, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic tale about a poor American boy who discovers he is heir to an English title and fortune.
Lewis Heath, who has previously starred as the title role in the school’s production of ‘Peter Pan’ at the King’s Theatre, said: ‘I’m really looking forward to Little Lord Fauntleroy. Doing a performance in the West End is an experience I’ve always wanted, and to do it a second time with Little Lord Fauntleroy is amazing.
‘Memories from last year, the rehearsals, the shows and everything between add to it.’
The ballet features a cast of 60 talented young dancers, aged 9-16, who were chosen from the 650 who auditioned at the English National Ballet School last year.
Rebecca Parkyn, head teacher at Mayville High School, said: ‘We are all so pleased for Sophia and Lewis.
‘This is a wonderful opportunity for them and the whole school is looking forward to hearing of their success.’
Sophia-Ellis was one of the principal dancers in Mayville’s twentieth anniversary Rock Challenge entry at the Portsmouth Guildhall last year. Sophia-Ellis and Lewis both train with Nina Brown at the Southsea School of Dance.
Mrs Brown, the dance school’s principal, said: ‘We are very proud they got into this show with the London Children’s Ballet. This will be Lewis’s second year with the company and Sophia’s first year.
‘They are both very talented and dedicated dancers and they are following in the footsteps of many other Southsea School of Dance students. I wish them both well.’
Tickets for the ballet can be bought from the Sadler’s Wells Theatre online at bitly.com/lordfauntleroy.