Upstagers are the double deckers

First published in What's On by

Upstagers are hoping to banish any April showers away with their production of Summer Holiday.

Last year they brought the gritty Billy Elliot to the Bradford Alhambra stage, and now the Ilkley-based society is busy rehearsing a feelgood show.

The musical, with Cononley teenager Luke Bayer the lead role, is based on a bright and breezy movie that Cliff Richard took to the big screen back in 1963.

It was the year of Beatlemania, the Great Train Robbery and the death of President Kennedy.

Cliff and the Shadows played London Transport bus mechanics on a jaunt across Europe, through Paris, the Alps, Italy and then Greece, in a red double-decker.

Along the way they pick up three girls in a clapped-out Morris and an American pop starlet on the run, who may not be all she seems.

The action races along to a toe-tapping score featuring songs such as In The Country, Do Ya Wanna Dance? , Bachelor Boy, Move It, Living Doll, The Young Ones, On The Beach and the memorable title song.

Don, the role made famous by Cliff, will be played by Luke Bayer, 19, from Cononley, who is making its Upstagers debut. Luke, a member of the National Youth Musical Theatre, reached the final six boys in the X Factor and took part in the 20th anniversary of Les Miserables. Upstagers were this month searching for a Vespa-style scooter to complete the retro look of the show. Upstagers last year staged the hit musical Billy Elliot, based on a 1990s film, a coming-of-age story about a motherless boy in a North East mining community in the 1980s.

Against the bitter backdrop of the miners' strike, Billy secret trained to be a ballet dancer. the title role was played by 11-year-old Lewis Day from Haworth, while Eddie Paget played his friend Michael.

The success of the show lead to surges being invited to Lund's Victoria Palace Theatre perform excerpts along with other leading amateur groups from across the UK.

The London cast included several youngsters from the Keighley area, such as Dalton Wood, 17, a student at Parkside School in Cullingworth.

* Summer Holiday runs at the Alhambra from April 25-28. Book on (01274) 432000. A special offer for school groups and drama schools is £6 per ticket.

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