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Meet our young stars; MEET the young stars of the future who have some big things planned for 2011.

Byline: NICOLA JUNCAR

ON FORM Williamson, MEET the stars of the future ...

A Tyneside theatre school for children and young people has seen several of its budding actors and actresses get their first break on TV.

The Acting Up Theatre School in Gateshead ended 2010 on a high with a performance at The Little Theatre, near Saltwell Park.

But for many of the talented youngsters, 2011 could see them go from stage to screen.

Principal Paula White, of Low Fell, Gateshead, said: "The aim has always been to develop confidence and raise self-esteem in children.

"Acting Up has built excellent relationships with some of the country''s biggest BAFTA award-winning children's TV production companies and it is through their ongoing work they have been able to offer our pupils some fantastic breaks.

"Acting Up now has a string of success stories."

These include Kelsey Rushworth, who took the leading role in CBBC's Mission 2021, while actors Curtis Appleby, Nick Warnford and Jack Salked took part in CBBC's Copy Cats.

Three young actors, Kyle Hughes, Peter Dyers and Sam Huthart were in the feature film, The Angel. And youngster Abbey Green was selected to take part in an advert for the NSPCC, while Nathan Burns was chosen out of 10,000 applicants to star in TMI Friday.

Paula said: "Cerys Halam, one of Acting Up's younger members, has been involved in a number of projects that have included BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at The Sage Gateshead.

"Cerys has also been shortlisted for a couple of television series next year - so fingers crossed."

Cerys has starred in films Ways To Live Forever and Airlocked, as well as adverts for Dolphin Bathrooms, Moben Kitchens, Ulster Bank, Haribo and the Matalan Christmas special.

However, the youngsters are not planning on turning their backs on the stage.

One of the highlights for 2011 for Acting Up's oldest members will be when they get to perform at the O Arena in London in a musical showcase.

Acting Up Theatre School is based at Dryden School in Shotley Gardens and is open to children and young people from across the North East aged two to 18. The school offers classes in dance, music and drama.

To find out more, log on to the website www.acting-up.co.uk ON FORM Top picture - from left: Beth Williamson, Matthew Eargon, Charlotte Forest, Ben McDiarmid and Grace Metcalf, above Josh Robson, 11, and Harry Burdon, 11. Below, Acting Up Children's Theatre Group, Dryden School

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PICTURES: MIKE URWIN www.chroniclelive.co.uk/buyaphoto ref: 00378485 SHINE ON Victoria McAlpine,15, right, and Carly Burns, 17
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 6, 2011
Words:437
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