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Our am dram star of the week is Alex Cook who's in Phantom of the Opera with the youth section of Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society

By Alison Norton | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

Who can imagine playing one of the most iconic characters ever written for musical theatre at the age of just 15?

Our am dram star of the week is Alex Cook

Well Birmingham Ormiston Academy pupil, Alex Cook has won the leading role in The Phantom of the Opera, which he will perform with the youth section of Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society later this month.

Spokesperson for the group Sarah Coussens says: “The youth section was formed in 2017 and performed the hugely successful Les Misérables to sold out houses. We have some phenomenally talented performers in our youth society and the voices we are hearing in rehearsal for The Phantom of the Opera are of adult, West End standard; truly something to behold.”

Alex began his theatrical career in 2014 when he appeared in Oliver with South Staffs Musical Theatre Company and has never looked back, taking several roles in youth productions since.

“I decided to go for the role of The Phantom ever since I first heard the soundtrack, roughly a year ago,” says Alex. “I am obsessed with the whole show and especially the leading role which soon became my dream to play.

“For my characterisation I have watched videos of other actors portray the role, so that I could get a general sense of the emotion in each scene. The two actors I have taken most the inspiration from are Norm Lewis and Ramin Karimloo. Overall the process has been hard, but worth it, as without this preparation, I would’ve really struggled with the physicality of the role.

“In August this year I saw the West End production with my family. The script for our junior version of the show is exactly the same as the original. This means that all the music has been very challenging. When we finally finish a song with all the harmonies in place it feels amazing!”

But there are two youngsters called Alex in this production, as Alex Cooper plays the role of Christine in the show.

“She’s fun to work with and we have a laugh,” says our am dram star. “The chemistry between The Phantom and Christine is quite hard to get right, but we feel we have worked at it.”

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The professional version of this show is full of special effects including the fall of the chandelier and the explosion of fire balls, but the young amateurs are giving a run for its money!

The Phantom of the Opera runs from 19-22 September at Stourbridge Town Hall with evening performances at 7.15pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm

Alison Norton

By Alison Norton
@AlisonNorton

Theatre critic and unofficial 'am dram queen' for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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