Young Edinburgh actors to sing for Jonathan Reid Gealt

Two local aspiring stars of the stage will this weekend have the opportunity to perform some of musical theatre’s most popular songs — in front of the New York composer who wrote them.

Teenagers Kieran Cooper and Ross Jamieson, from Granton and Currie respectively, will star in An Evening With Jonathan Reid Gealt on Saturday night in Edinburgh after auditioning for the American composer and lyricist via a YouTube video.

Tickets remain on sale for the show, at St Andrew’s and St George’s West in the city centre of the Capital, and Liam, an HND Musical Theatre student at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh, is excited at the prospect of performing to a sell-out audience.

Nineteen-year-old Kieran, a former Trinity Academy pupil now in his third year of the HND Musical Theatre course at MGA, said: “The opportunities we get at MGA are ridiculously good: we have already performed with West End stars Kerry Ellis and Shoshana Bean, and for Jonathan Reid Gealt to come all the way to Scotland to work with us is fantastic.

“We had to learn one of a list of songs written by Jonathan Reid Gealt, perform it on a camera, and upload it onto YouTube. Jonathan then watched all the videos and handpicked who he wanted to sing each of his songs. It was a good way to audition — I had many re-takes, but obviously I won’t have that luxury on the night!”

Ross, 18, a former Currie High School pupil, said: “I’ve performed with MGA at the Usher Hall in their Christmas shows and I’m really excited by this new challenge. I knew Jonathan Reid Gealt’s work before and, since the opportunity came up to sing one of his songs — to him — in the audition, I thought I’d just give it a go. It’s a cool opportunity to sing a song to the guy who created it. It’s all super-exciting!

“Video auditions are quite common in the profession and it’s quite exciting to try something like that. With this experience, when we all graduate from MGA, we will be well-prepared for the industry.”

Andrew Gowland, Director of The MGA Academy, said: “We are very excited about such a massive name in Jonathan Reid Gealt coming to Edinburgh and allowing musical theatre aficionados to see his songs performed by some of the best emerging stage talent in Scotland. Through Beyond Broadway Productions, the students at The MGA Academy have been given a great opportunity and we hope they, and the audience, have a fantastic time on Saturday night.”

Saturday’s show — on from 7.30pm at St Andrew’s and St George’s West at 13 George Street, Edinburgh — represents the only Scottish date of Gealt’s current UK tour and follows a performance in London earlier this month.

Tickets, priced £15, are on sale now at the Beyond Broadway website via http://tinyurl.com/JRGtix