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Young talent set for show extravaganza

PUBLISHED: 17:19 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 23 August 2010

Dartford
21-05-08
Dartford Festival Launch
Matthew Crane

Dartford 21-05-08 Dartford Festival Launch Matthew Crane

AFTER months of rehearsals and painstaking preparation the best young talent in the borough will be showcasing their skills this weekend. Street dancers, a baritone singer, a rock band and a juggler are among the acts that will be taking the stage for th

AFTER months of rehearsals and painstaking preparation the best young talent in the borough will be showcasing their skills this weekend.

Street dancers, a baritone singer, a rock band and a juggler are among the acts that will be taking the stage for the Gifted Young Gravesham event.

The spectacular show is due to take place at Woodville Halls, Gravesend, from 7pm on Saturday, when talent scouts are also expected to attend.

Hundreds of acts applied to take part in the live show, with 28 selected to perform after a series of auditions at St Georges School, Gravesend, last month.

One of the acts performing is baritone singer Matthew Crane, 16, from High Halstow, who rocketed to nationwide fame after winning BBC2's Let Me Entertain You in 2006.

The Gads Hill School student has competed in a host of national talent competitions and made it through to the boot camp stage of last year's X-Factor TV programme. Despite his experience says the quality of the acts is impressive.

He said: " There's a boy who plays the guitar and sings who I thought was really good.The event gets people involved and helps them build on their skills."

The event was set up by The Grand, a multi-agency partnership between Gravesham Borough Council, Kent County Council's Youth Service, which has awarded nearly £3,000 and West Kent Primary Care Trust. The Gravesend and Meopham Rotary Club also donated £1000 to support the project.

Heather Pratt, a 17-year-old photography student at North West Kent College, of Park Place, Gravesend, designed the stage backdrop and programme and is the event's official photographer.

She said: "The acts are amazing. I am student and when I was in school I didn't really know that there was so much talent around.

"Maybe some of them didn't have the confidence to perform before but this event has really given them the confidence to get themselves out there."

Not only are the young people performing but they are stage managing and organising the event with guidance from youth workers.

Jodie Hamilton, 26, senior youth worker for Gravesham Borough Council, of Chalk Road, Gravesend, said: "It's pretty much all run by the young people.

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