The winner of The Stage Scholarship 2018  at Youth Music Theatre UK is Noah Cochrane, aged 12 from Portadown, Co Armagh in Northern Ireland. Noah was selected from a large pool of aspiring performers aged between 11 and 21 who auditioned to join Youth Music Theatre UK earlier this year.
Noah has been offered a full scholarship on YMT’s prestigious summer production programme, an award worth £1,900. Noah will train with a top-flight creative team working on the new musical adaptation of Paperboy.
Executive producer at YMT Jon Bromwich said: “We are delighted to give The Stage Scholarship opportunity to a very talented young performer. This year, as part of Youth Music Theatre UK’s 15th-anniversary season, Noah will be performing in a new musical adaptation of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy. We look forward to following Noah’s journey through to the premiere at Lyric Theatre Belfast in July.”
Speaking of his experience at the YMT audition, Noah said he was delighted by the offer: “I was speechless when my mum showed me the email to say I had won The Stage Scholarship, I couldn’t believe it. All I long to do is perform. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to start rehearsals in July.
“My drama teacher highlighted the auditions to me and when I looked at Youth Music Theatre UK I knew I wanted to audition. The audition was so much fun and I came away on a high having had an amazing time. I couldn’t believe it when I heard I had won the scholarship, it took a while for it to sink in. I knew how much it meant to me but for my family too, they were over the moon that I was able to continue with the process. I cannot wait for rehearsals to start, it will be a new experience for me but one I know will be amazing.”
Paperboy has been commissioned and produced by Youth Music Theatre UK and adapted from the internationally acclaimed memoir by Irish writer and peace-builder Tony Macaulay. The musical is composed by platinum-selling Belfast artist Duke Special with book by stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle and is a heart-warming, coming-of-age, musical drama set against the gritty backdrop of 1970s Belfast.
The production will be performed at the Lyric Theatre Belfast from July 26 to 29.