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Solomon's key role alongside Oz star Jason

PUBLISHED: 12:32 07 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:32 07 February 2016

Solomon Read from Great Yarmouth will be appearing alongside Jason Donovan in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Theatre Royal Norwich.

Solomon Read from Great Yarmouth will be appearing alongside Jason Donovan in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Theatre Royal Norwich.

DEBBY BESFORD

A talented Great Yarmouth youngster is honing his Australian accent ahead of a starring role alongside singer Jason Donovan.

Solomon Read beat off competition from across the Eastern region to win the part of Benji in Priscilla Queen of the Desert which comes to the Theatre Royal Norwich next week.

It has meant travelling to Milton Keynes where the production is currently being staged to familiarise himself with the cast and set.

But the eight year old was taking it all in his stride, and was unruffled by the prospect of being in the spotlight and singing on stage, said his mother Gaynor Read.

The musical, known for being heart-warming and outrageous, focuses on the relationship between three drag queens as they embark on an epic journey across the desert forcing them to face issues.

Mrs Read said Solomon, a pupil at North Denes Primary School, did not know who Jason Donovan was but had been watching episodes of Neighbours to help him to speak with an Australian accent.

Getting to grips with antipodean up-speak was the hardest part of the role but he was unfazed by the prospect of singing a duet with Donovan and joining in with whole-cast numbers.

Solomon, who has attended Stage Door Youth Theatre for three years, was put forward for the role by drama teacher Sheila Pascall after being contacted by casting director for the show, Debbie O’Brien.

After submitting his CV, he secured an audition in early January in which he had to deliver dialogue from the Priscilla script and perform a song from musical theatre with piano accompaniment.

Scores of hopefuls from all over the eastern region where auditioned, with only two places up for grabs.

Four of the eight performances in Norwich from Monday February 8 to Saturday February 13, will star Solomon, alongside Neighbours and West End star Jason Donovan.

Billed as the ultimate party, Priscilla is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship.

It features a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dance floor classics including I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife.

With rehearsals underway this week, Solomon is busy mastering his Australian accent and looking forward to performing with some of the best West End stars.

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