Leading role for aspiring young actor from Quarrendon

Connor Dyer from Quarrendon who will play a lead role at Watford Theatre.

Connor Dyer from Quarrendon who will play a lead role at Watford Theatre.

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A Quarrendon man has landed a lead role in a musical production, thanks to a theatre company that helps young actors

Connor Dyer, 20, a former pupil of Waddesdon School, has had a lifelong ambition to succeed in the performing arts.

His career has taken a big step forward after landing the role of Leo Frank in Vivo D’Arte’s production of Parade at the Watford Palace Theatre, running this week from Wednesday, June 10 until Saturday, June 13.

Parade is a tragic, true story of the trial and lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish man from Brooklyn who is wrongly accused of murder.

It is brought to emotional and theatrical life by playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and Jason Robert Brown, one of Broadway’s most promising young composers.

Set in 1913 the musical deals with anti-Semitism against a backdrop of the racially charged southern states of America and is directed by Lin Instone with musical director Dan Cowtan.

Connor said: “I feel a huge sense of duty to tell Leo’s story as truthfully and honestly as I can, but am particularly excited to share his fight for justice with the audience.

“I have been extremely lucky for this opportunity to bring Leo Frank’s story alive alongside an exceptional cast and production team.

“Leo Frank is a socially awkward character who often represses his emotions and feels isolated from his surroundings. But the experience he goes through is almost a cathartic one, even throughout the challenges he faces, he seems to discover himself and those around him.”

Since passing his A-Levels, Connor has been working at two jobs to pay for lessons and the resources he needs, while applying for musical theatre and acting degree courses.

One of his jobs is as a member of the front of house team at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre and he has been involved with many local theatre groups.

Vivo D’Arte is a theatre arts organisation which champions young performers, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

Under the leadership and guidance of highly acclaimed singing teacher, theatre director and musical director, Dan Cowtan, Vivo D’Arte works to bring out the very best in its cast and students and ensures innovative performances of the very highest quality.

Dan created Vivo D’Arte in 2012 and the organisation has grown very quickly following a string of successful and exceptional productions including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray.

Tickets for performances are available to book online at www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01923 225671. For more information about Vivo D’Arte visit www.vivodarte.co.uk