Young stars head for West End

Taran Jones
Taran Jones
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Two young stars have landed plum roles in a West End production of one of Britain’s best-loved musicals.

Phoebe Roberts, from Ryedale Grove, Liversedge, is only 12 years old, but has been picked for the role of Nan in a new production of Whistle Down the Wind with the National Youth Musical Theatre.

Phoebe Roberts

Phoebe Roberts

And 11-year-old Taran Jones has been chosen to play Jackie Greenwood in the show, which will take to the stage in July.

Phoebe’s mum Joanna Roberts said: “I am very proud of her – she has had the odd knock-back since she started acting, but she has realized that this is what she really wants to do, and we really want to support her.”

Taran said he was delighted to be selected and hoped to learn all he could from the experience.

He said: “It was my first year and when I saw how many people there were at the national auditions, I didn’t think I would be successful but I’m very excited about it and can’t wait.”

Both children had to pass two gruelling auditions.

Phoebe is a pupil at Mirfield Free Grammar, and Taran goes to Heaton Avenue School in Cleckheaton.

Phoebe played the title role in a production of Annie at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last year.

Taran, who hopes to be a professional performer, receives training at Wakefield Theatre Royal Academy, and Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre in Leeds.