Kings Youth Theatre asks: Who are you calling a loser? 

Kings Youth Theatre in rehearsal for Loserville at The Kings, Southsea, from July 21-24. Imogen Thomas, centre. Picture by Anne Dobeson
Kings Youth Theatre in rehearsal for Loserville at The Kings, Southsea, from July 21-24. Imogen Thomas, centre. Picture by Anne Dobeson

The year is 1971 and Michael Dork may be a computer geek but he’s invented something that could changed the world.

He’s also discovered girls: a prospect (almost) as exciting as his love of binary. Holly is the girl: she has looks and brains and wants to be the first woman in space. But will she want Michael?

This is Loserville, a musical based on Welcome to Loserville, an album by the pop-rock band, Son of Dork featuring Busted’s James Bourne.

Kings Youth Theatre is kicking off the summer holidays with its production of the 2009 musical.

Matt Dingley, 15, plays the lead role of Michael Dork.

The Miltoncross Academy student has been with the company for two years, and this is his first musical lead.

‘It has been a challenge don’t get me wrong,’ says Matt, ‘but after all of the rehearsals I’m finding it more comfortable.’

How has he found it embracing his inner geek? ‘It started off being difficult because it’s not me at all, but with rehearsal and practice it’s affected my real life.

‘It’s made me see other people’s views, and what it’s like for other people. I’ve developed a lot of confidence through being at the youth theatre.

And what about the 1970s? A time long before the show’s cast was born.

‘It is strange. We have grown up with technology that is very much advanced, but then we have to look back when we go on stage.’

Matt’s co-star is Imogen Thomas, who plays Holly Manson.

Imogen, 15, is one of the KYT’s longest serving members – she joined when she was just nine.

‘I started mainly through school, I did acouple of plays at my junior school and I loved performing so I started looking for something else I could do and found KYT.’

While she’s loving Loserville, her favouriteproduction takes her back to her debut. ‘My favourite was my first one, which was Oliver. It was a real thrill being on the Kings Theatre stage for the first time, and it’s a great show as well. I didn’t have a named part, I was just in the chorus but it was just so much fun to be involved in.’

Imogen has found getting to know her character of Holly enjoyable too. ‘It’s been brilliant, I love Holly, she’s such an interesting and confident character, she’s great fun to play. And it’s not been too difficult because I am a bit of a geek,’ she laughs.

And the chemistry between the two hasn’t been a problem either.

Even before the show started we were really good friends, so there’s been no awkwardness.

‘It’s all been fine!

LOSERVILLE

The Kings Theatre, Southsea

July 20-21

http://kingsportsmouth.co.uk