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Creating musical magic – in just two weeks

Thoroughly Modern Millie, Rugby Theatre Youth Project, August 2 - 6

Staging an all-singing, all-dancing musical from scratch in less than two weeks may sound like a tall order, but that’s just what the talented crowd from Rugby Theatre’s annual Summer Youth Project are doing.

Around 70 budding musical theatre stars are coming together for their production of the award-winning show Thoroughly Modern Millie, which opens on Wednesday, August 2.

The young performers, all aged between 10 and 21, are being put through their paces by a professional director, choreographer and musical director, and though rehearsals only began on Saturday, July 22, already song and dance routines are already taking shape.

Meanwhile, a hard-working backstage team, also made up of young people, are building the set, designing the lighting and sound, and getting ready to crew the show under the watchful eyes of the project stage managers.

The winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film starring Julie Andrews.

It takes audiences on a musical journey back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when ‘moderns’ ─ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount ─ were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

Diane Trezise, who has helped organise the summer project, said: “It’s fabulous how everyone works together so brilliantly to make sure the shows are such a success.

“It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 21 years – and the performers and backstage crew never fail to amaze us with their talent and commitment.

“I’m sure Thoroughly Modern Millie will live up to the high standards we’ve set with previous shows. And it’s great to see all of the young people having such a wonderful time doing something so positive and creative during their summer holidays.”

The show opens for a six performance run from August 2 to 6.

Tickets for are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or the website,

PICTURES: The cast and crew of Thoroughly Modern Millie at Rugby Theatre.

Annabel Russell as Millie and Ciaran Dempsey as Jimmy.

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