Young Guiseley dancer hoping for West End stardom in Billy Elliot

Budding star performer Mathew Lyons

Budding star performer Mathew Lyons

First published in Local news

A ten-year-old boy who has attended classes at the West Yorkshire School of Performing Arts (WYSPA) in Guiseley since the age of seven has made it through to final London auditions for a musical to be staged in the West End.

Mathew Lyons, along with fellow WYSPA pupils Freddie Sawyer and Jake Spittlehouse, all aged ten, attended the Leeds audition for Billy Elliot, with more than 80 boys.

The tough process saw Mathew make it all the way through. He is now waiting to be called to London for the final stage of auditions.

School principal Karen Fawcett, who chaperoned the boys at the audition, said: “I was over the moon when three pupils were chosen to audition from WYSPA dance academy. The process was very tough, with boys being eliminated as the day went on.

“Mathew and Freddie were selected for the last 15 and told to come back after lunch. This round was the ballet section and unfortunately Freddie didn’t make it to the next section.

“As dance principal, I was so proud of all three boys but was so excited with Mathew making it to the last six.”

On the following day, Karen received an e-mail to confirm Mathew was being invited to London.

She said: “I had the pleasure of telling Mathew, who ran around the studio screaming with joy.”

Although Freddie didn’t make it through to the final auditions for Billy Elliot, he is also celebrating after being shortlisted for the lead role in a new film.

Karen said: “I had sent off video footage of Freddie for a movie role. Out of the blue, I received a call from a leading children’s casting agent in London saying she didn’t want him for that role as they were so impressed with him that they were putting him forward for the lead role as Peter Pan in the new Warner Brothers movie.

“I was sent through a script for Freddie to learn and we then filmed him and sent this off.

“The casting director has been back to me asking for all his measurements and confirmed he has been shortlisted for the role.

“Although they are still auditioning, she will get back to me from the end of February regarding the next stage.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for Freddie and we all have our fingers crossed for him.”

Karen added: “Myself and the teachers are so impressed with both boys’ dedication and hard work – they are both lovely boys.”

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