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Issue 306 – Frome’s young talent lead the way

TICKETS are still on sale for Spellbound’s production of Guys and Dolls which runs from tonight, Thursday, through to Saturday at the Memorial Theatre.

The three leading ‘guys’ – Ellis Dackombe (15), Ross Toten and Tom Carpenter (both 16) – are all good friends who have performed together in many productions. They all agree that the friendship they have helps to ensure things run smoothly in rehearsal and on show nights as they often know instinctively how each other will react or what is needed to help each other out in rehearsals without the need for long discussions.
Ellis, who attends Kingdown School in Warminster plays Skye Masterson, the cool, stylish gambler who falls for the Salvation Army leader Sarah Brown. This is the seventh spellbound production for Ellis and he is well known for carrying off flamboyant comic roles with ease. He was awarded the trophy for his portrayal of Henry Miller last year but feels that this role will be a greater challenge.
“Skye is a much more serious character which is a new direction for me and good for my development as an actor,” he said. “I love working with Tom and Ross and the rest of the Spellbound company are brilliant.” Ellis hopes to use all the many experiences he has had on the local stage to launch a career in the theatre when he is older.
By contrast, Ross, who attends Frome College, is enjoying the fact that playing his character, Nathan Detroit, demands more than a touch of humour. This will be his last year with Spellbound but Ross will continue to tread the boards as he embarks on an A-level theatre studies course in September.
“My favourite role so far was Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. That was probably my first major part and I was bitten by the bug! I am really pleased to be involved with Spellbound for one more year and just hope that this show can be as successful as FAOS’ Full Monty which has really inspired me.”
Tom, who also goes to Frome College this year plays Nicely Nicely Johnson, a part which demands the delivery of a huge show-stopping number (Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat) in the second half. Tom is no stranger to a singing challenge and has recently completed his grade 8 musical theatre exam under the guidance of his teacher, Bazira Ward, who Tom says has really helped to develop his musical range this year.
“The big musical number I have to lead is the best part about playing Nicely…and I can’t wait to do it ! “ he said.
Tom has also just auditioned for a Sky 1 TV programme where he had to sing in front of Jamie Callum and Dizzee Rascal. This will be screened in August but Tom has sworn not to reveal anything before then, so you will have to watch it if you want to see how he fared!
Musical theatre and jazz are both dear to Tom, who always delivers a confident, believable and relaxed performance. Like Ross, he will continue to study theatre performance at A-level. ”My idol is Michael Buble and if you gave me a ticket to the West end I would go and see Sister Act for the third time ….the songs are brilliant!”
Guys and Dolls will be performed on 5th, 6th and 7th August. Get yourself a ticket if you don’t want to miss out…call the Memorial Theatre box office on 01373 462795