Colchester boy’s musical takes to the stage

From the Colchester Gazette, 13 January 2010 (Story by Ryan McCarthy)

A new  musical has been written and composed by a 16-year-old boy who suffers from ME. When the curtain comes up on Wanted – the Legend of Robin Hood, it will be the culmination of two years’ hard work for Edward Court.

It will be staged at Colchester’s Headgate Theatre, from March 23 to 27, and its talented creator, who also stars in the show, is hoping for a full house.

Colchester Sixth Form pupil Edward first got a taste for theatre at the age of three.

His mother Cathy said: “We took him to a local theatre production at the Mercury and he asked us how it was done.”

Since the age of six, Edward has attended the Stagecoach theatre school in Colchester.

Two years ago, he was diagnosed with CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalopathy). He was unable to attend school full-time for two years, managing just a few lessons a week.

His mum said: “He started falling asleep in lessons and couldn’t walk down the road without being sick. It was like he had run a marathon. It was horrific.”

Edward, who lives in Witham, took eight GCSEs last year and received As and A*s in five of the subjects.

Last summer, he did work experience at the Royal Opera House, in London, and when he finishes school next year, he wants to study composition or set design in London.

Edward, who has his grade seven in piano, and is about 6ft 6ins tall, will play Little John in the show.

Proceeds from the musical will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

His mum said the illness turned the family’s world “upside down”.

But music and the hospital have helped Edward come a long way and he is now in good health, providing he takes it easy.

Edward is raring to go and said everything is on schedule for the musical’s opening night. Most of the cast are his friends and he promises a fun show with some surprises.

He said: “I’m quite nervous. It’s like putting your neck on the line and it’s for everyone to judge. The cast are really good and we are all excited about it. I’m interested in history and I thought I would get good storylines with a version of Robin Hood.”

Performances will be at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. For tickets, which are are £9/concessions £7, call the Headgate booking office on 01206 366000.

 

 

 

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