Christ College, Brecon student Ben Masters is to make his West End debut, in the Youth Music Theatre UK production of Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Theatre enthusiast Ben, from Sennybridge, is studying Drama AS Level at the school.
The show, which combines theatre and song, mixed with storytelling and physical comedy, is adaptation of one of Thomas Hardy’s most famous novels.
It was first produced into a piece of musical theatre by the Youth Music Theatre UK as part of their summer season in 2012; and following further development, is being performed again this Easter.
Youth Music Theatre UK holds auditions across the UK each year for members to join the company and last summer, Ben was asked to be part of the production at the Theatre Royal Winchester.
He will now be re-joining members of the original cast and entire creative team at the Other Palace Theatre, in London, for a run lasting from April 5 to 14. Ben will play the role of Mr Crick, the head of the dairy farm.
Ben said: “I was full of joy and excitement as I realised that I would be performing in London with my friends from the summer. With a few weeks to go until the rehearsal stage, I cannot wait to re-unite with everyone.”
Before embarking on this new adventure, Ben will be performing with his fellow students at Christ College in the Senior School Production, “These Bridges”, which went on tour this month to Aberystwyth Arts Centre as part of the National Theatre’s Connections Festival.
It was Christ College’s 15th production since the opening, in September 2013, of a new Centre for the Creative Arts – Y Neuadd Goffa ~ The Memorial Hall – within the school facilities.
Ben said: “I have been studying drama for six years at Christ College. I took the subject on for both GCSE and A level; and have taken part in various school plays. Christ College has had a huge impact on my development in drama as it was in year 7 that I was fully exposed to the subject.
“I will continue to audition for companies and take advantage of the school’s opportunities to deepen my understanding of the subject; and I hope that drama and musical theatre will always be a part of my life in whatever I end up doing.”
Gareth Pearson, Head of Christ College, said: “We’re very proud of Ben’s achievement – his dedication to drama classes has paid off, and we are delighted that we were able to support his ambition.
“Our pupils’ aspirations and well-being are our everyday priorities. I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that their goals are met, by offering excellent academic provision as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities for them to choose from, according to their talents and preferences.”