Larne siblings saddle up for summer musical

Getting ready for a summer in Oklahoma at Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey are lead cast members Jamie Johnston (17) who stars as Curly and his sister Johanna Johnston (16) who stars as Ado Annie, which runs at the theatre from Tuesday, August 12 to Saturday 20, directed by Peter Corry. INLT 26-624-CON

Getting ready for a summer in Oklahoma at Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey are lead cast members Jamie Johnston (17) who stars as Curly and his sister Johanna Johnston (16) who stars as Ado Annie, which runs at the theatre from Tuesday, August 12 to Saturday 20, directed by Peter Corry. INLT 26-624-CON

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Brother and sister Jamie and Johanna Johnston, from Larne have been selected to play starring roles in this summer’s professional musical production of Oklahoma at the Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey.

Set against the backdrop of ranching Oklahoma, this fun musical tells the tale of love and rivalry between cowboys and farmers on the prairie, directed by Northern Ireland’s leading musical theatre directors Peter Corry and Wilson Shields and international choreographer Fleur Mellor.

The smash hit musical showcases the cream of Northern Ireland’s top young performers who had to compete in an extensive audition to win one of the prized 40 places to star in the musical. Jamie was selected to play the role of Curly and Johanna the role of Ado Annie.

Jamie, aged 17, studying Music and Performing Arts at AS Level at Larne Grammar, was the first-ever winner of Larne’s Got Talent. A keen rugby player, Jamie has just been nominated for a prestigious Association of Irish Music Societies award for best supporting actor as Gideon in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers which he performed with Bangor Operatic Society.

Speaking about why he auditioned for his role, Jamie commented: “Having participated in Theatre at the Mill’s sell-out production of Les Miserables last summer, I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to again work with Peter Corry, Wilson Shields and Fleur Mellor.

“Oklahoma is a special show for me as it was my first experience of musical theatre when I played Will Parker in my school production.”

Johanna, who is 16 and is studying Performing Arts at GCSE at Ulidia Integrated College, intends to study the subject at A Level and university.

A keen dancer, having danced from the age of three, she is the dance instructor and head choreographer at Uplift Performing Arts School in Carrickfergus.

Excited about her summertime opportunity, Johanna said; “I love Oklahoma the musical and being on stage performing and want to gain as much experience as possible.

“The opportunity to work with international choreographer Fleur Mellor and show off my dance skills is so exciting. I’m looking forward to a great summer performing in an incredible show.”

Oklahoma runs at the Theatre at the Mill from Friday, August August to Saturday 20.

Tickets start at £9, available to book online at www.theatreatthemill.com or from the box office on 028 9034 0202.