Peter Pan hopefuls whittled down

Young talents have won the chance to appear on stage in Peter Pan at the Hawth in Crawley this Christmas, alongside Nigel Havers (Dec 9-31).

Hawth spokeswoman Lorraine Gould said: “The standard of those who auditioned was extremely high and executive producer Jonathan Kiley had a difficult job selecting the boys to play the roles of Michael and John in rotation during the run.

“Following a morning of individual auditions, the hopefuls were whittled down and those who made it through to the second round were asked to read extracts from the pantomime script.

“The lucky four selected for the roles of brothers John and Michael were Thomas Ball (aged 13, from Burgess Hill) and Daniel Haynes-De Vita (aged 14, Horsham) and real-life brothers Matthew (aged 12) and Daniel Willis (aged 9) from Burgess Hill, a first for the producers, who have never cast real brothers in the roles before.

“The standard of those who auditioned was so high the producers were able to select a third pair of boys, who will act as understudies for the parts. This opportunity went to Tom Clark (aged 12) and James Whitaker (aged 10), both from East Grinstead.

“The Hawth and the pantomime producers are delighted to have found six such talented performers to add to the cast of Peter Pan. The swashbuckling show is now complete with a fantastic cast to go along with the magnificent scenery, beautiful costumes, comedy galore and stunning flying sequences this is a show not to be missed.”

Thomas Ball and Daniel Haynes-De Vita:

Thomas is from Burgess Hill and attends Ariel Company Theatre. He is no stranger to The Hawth stage and has recently appeared in Curtain Call at the Theatre. He has also performed in a number of other shows including various showcases, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Les Miserables.

Daniel has also performed at The Hawth a number of times, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has also appeared as a lost boy in his hometown of Horsham.

Matthew and Daniel Willis:

Both from Burgess Hill, the brothers having been attending Ariel Drama Plus since the age of five. Matthew, now 12, has appeared in numerous productions including Peter Pan in Horsham and he recently took to The Hawth stage as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. He is looking forward to singing in inChoir at K2 Crawley in July.

Daniel has been performing for five years now and appeared in a Dolls House with West Sussex County Youth Theatre, as well as starring alongside his brother in the Wizard of Oz at The Hawth.

Tom Clark and James Whitaker:

This pairing are both from East Grinstead. Tom will be making an appearance in The Hawth pantomime for the second year in a row after taking on the role of one of the seven dwarfs in Snow White last year with Craig Revel Horwood. He has been a member of Stage Coach and Roshe Dance School and has performed at Chequer Mead on a number of occasions.

James has only been a member of Act One Beginners since January, up until now his only acting experience has been in school plays, so to be cast in the role of Michael is a great achievement.

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