“Blackpool’s got talent,” that’s the committed claim of talent agent Tracey Bell.
A troupe of more than 40 youngsters, aged from six to 17, have taken part in a special showcase performance in front of industry professionals.
The talented youngsters were all winners from Scream Theatre Schools’ Oscars awards events, with the Blackpool-based team then organising the showcase – at Media City in Salford – as their reward.
Tracey, who runs Scream Theatre Schools in Blackpool and in Salford, and Scream Management at Media City, should know what’s she’s talking about, too.
After almost 20 years in the business, she’s now branching out to London and setting up a Scream office there.
But Blackpool will always be where the heart of her business lies.
“I don’t know what it is, the sea air or the fact we have such a strong showbiz background, but there’s a lot of talent in the town, which we’re excited to be promoting,” Tracey said.
“The children did really well on what was a long day, with two performances in the afternoon and evening.”
Most of the ‘Screamers’ who took part in the showcase were from the Blackpool centre at Wareham Road, backing up Tracey’s belief that there are new stars to be found in the resort.
The Scream Oscar winners strutted their stuff in front of talent scouts and casting agents from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, and from organisations as far afield as Brighton and Surrey.
The youngsters presented monologues or small group performances, which had been researched and written themselves – ranging from laugh-out-loud comedy through to some very dark tales of tragedy.
Michelle Jones, from Brilliant Casting in London, said the showcase was “very helpful” and that she’s following up several of the young performers for three shows she’s working on.
“We primarily cast voices and presenters and to see them performing, their facial expressions, the different tones of emotions are all things you can only get from seeing them face to face.
“The quality of the writing was a real surprise as well. It shows they’re smart kids, and for presenting they want someone who can do that, have input to the scripts.”
The school’s Oscars were judged by local professionals, Jacqueline Leonard –recently seen in Coronation Street – Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant and Coronation Street newcomer Lucy Fallon.