Search for strictly talented new stars

Cabaret performer Rod Laver will mentor acts in Blackpool's Got Strictly X Factor Talent as part of Showzam!

Cabaret performer Rod Laver will mentor acts in Blackpool's Got Strictly X Factor Talent as part of Showzam!

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The best of Blackpool’s cabaret artists are being given a chance to perform in the resort’s festival of circus, with training from top acts.

Showzam! has launched Blackpool’s Got Strictly X Factor Talent, a competition with a five-day talent development programme.

The search for a star will see performers take part in a series of workshops before performing at Bootleg Social for a live audience and a panel of expert judges on Thursday and Friday, February 18 and 19.

Acts will have a chance to hone their stagecraft and performance skills during the workshops, and the winner will get a coveted spot at the Showzam! Carnival Ball for 2017, as well as the tools of the trade to relaunch their act including a styled photography shoot and promotional video.

Performers must be aged over 16, with organisers LeftCoast ‘looking for a talent or an idea you would like to grow in the world of live performing arts and variety – from music to poetry, ballet to breakdancing, clowning to extreme ironing and stand-up comedy, or maybe something completely new’.

Michael Trainor, LeftCoast’s artistic director, said: “Whether you’re just starting your career, trying to reboot it or have never been on stage in your life, Blackpool’s Got Strictly X Factor Talent has something to offer you.

“In three workshops mentors Abi Collins and Rod Laver will take you through the process of creating a short act for cabaret and theatre, from conception to performance.

“Also covered will be practical aspects, including how not to sacrifice your art while still running yourself as a small business – successfully.

“With more than 40 years of expertise in performing arts between them, Rod and Abi will pack everything they know into this five-day ‘How To’ crash course, culminating in a two-night cabaret showcase at the Bootleg Social before a panel of experts.”

Showzam!, which last year boosted the town’s economy by an estimated £2million, returns on Saturday, February 13 with the Carnival Ball hosted by Abi Collins, and a week of performances by French circus company Akoreacro at the Tower Circus.

The closing date for applications to enter Blackpool’s Got Strictly X Factor Talent is January 31.