A West Belfast teen is set to light up the Grand Opera House stage when he takes one of the lead roles in the Summer Youth production of Bugsy Malone.

13-year-old Fionntán MacGiolla Cheara from St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School, will play ‘Fat’ Sam Stacetto in the comedy musical based on the 1976 film of the same name. Supported by Phoenix Natural Gas and now in its ninth year, the Grand Opera House Summer Youth Production gives young aspiring performers the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of people on the iconic Grand Opera House stage. Over 1,700 participants have been through the Theatre’s Summer Youth Project since it began.

“I am really excited to be involved in this year’s Summer Youth Production at the Grand Opera House,” said Fionntán. “It was the best feeling ever to be told that I would be performing the lead role of Fat Sam Stacetto in such an incredible musical.

“I was really proud of myself and couldn’t wait to tell my family, who are so thrilled for me. To be performing on the Grand Opera House stage will be such an unforgettable experience.”

Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House, said: “The Summer Youth Production is a terrific opportunity for young people to develop their performance skills, build confidence and work with a professional director, choreographer, musical director and technical team. The superb talent of the young people is matched by terrific staging, lighting and special effects in a production of a major musical befitting of the Grand Opera House stage”.

Bugsy Malone runs at the Grand Opera House from Thursday August 1 until Saturday August 3. For ticket information visit www.goh.co.uk