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A “talented pair” of former Northampton College students are preparing to travel the country in the UK tour of West End hit, Motown The Musical.

Ethan Davis and Deearna McLean landed understudy roles in the hit show after successful auditions this summer. Beginning next month, the pair will take the performance to 25 UK cities over 15 months.

The dedicated professionals have had to learn dozens of parts in preparation for the tour, which could see them called upon to cover cast absence.

Rehearsing for eight hours a day, six days a week, Ethan has been required to learn every male ensemble part, as well as the role of Smokey Robinson. The 21-year-old studied a Level 3 diploma in Musical Theatre at Northampton College before he gained a place at the American Musical Theatre Academy in London. Deearna also completed the same course at Northampton College.

Ethan, from East Hunsbury, thanked his college tutors for steering him in the right direction and added: “I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. When I was at a crossroads over which direction to go in they advised me on the best route to take to achieve my aspirations.

“The course was fantastic – just like a drama school. It prepared me for what was to come. I began drama school with an advantage. The experiences I had at college boosted my confidence in singing, dancing and acting, enabling me to go on and be successful at drama school and ultimately auditions.”

Currently rehearsing at a studio in London, the pair will travel to Birmingham this week to begin final rehearsals at the Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre before the curtain goes up on Thursday, October 11.

Northampton College Musical Theatre tutor Suzanne Bushen said: “I am delighted to hear that this talented pair of former students are putting what they have learnt into practice on the UK stage. I’m incredibly proud to see what they have achieved so far and I look forward to hearing about the opportunities I am sure will come their way in the future.”

The pair have become the latest former Booth Lane students to be involved in the jukebox musical telling the story of his time running the legendary US record label and his personal and professional relationships with Motown artists such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson.

They are following in the footsteps of Natalie Kassanga, who also featured in girl band Alien Uncovered in the 2015 X Factor. She recently took on the role of Diana Ross in the West End version of Motown at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London.

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Helen Clifford

Helen Clifford

Mature student Helen always had a passion for drama and had managed to find plenty of acting jobs over the years alongside full time and part time jobs in industry...



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