'You're on the right track!' - Boy Actors, George Holahan-Cantwell and Ryan Yeates

STAGES with Peter Eyers show

Summary: Opening at The Lyric Theatre in Sydney next week is the Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz' musical Pippin - the coming-of-age story of a young man searching for his place in the world. Ryan Yeates and George Holahan-Cantwell share the role of Theo. The two young actors have amassed considerable professional engagement in their burgeoning careers. Ryan is 15 and George is 12. Young actors are a regular presence, and often an awe-inspiring addition, to the narratives in much of musical theatre. Contemporary commercial offerings have necessitated a corpse de ballet of dance hopefuls in Billy Elliot or a class of school brats in Matilda - the musical. But it's a tradition that has long been present on stages - we've gaped at the talents demonstrated by the Von Trapp children in The Sound Of Music, the tenacity of the orphans in Annie and the stamina of the workhouse boys in Oliver. Sometimes, the creators have even thrown in an animal or two, to increase the charm factor. Star turns by canine characters have given us Sandy in Annie, Chowsie in Gypsy and Toto in The Wizard Of Oz. Pippin has both of these. A beguiling boy actor to play the role of Theo - and a duck! George enjoys everything involving music and you will often find him singing, playing the piano and producing his own music. A talented performer with a passion for musical theatre, George recently completed the Sydney season of School of Rock playing the role of the keyboardist Lawrence, and before that, the role of Benji in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Ryan returns to the stage after recently playing the lead role of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the role of Noah in Caroline or Change for the Hayes Theatre Co. He trains in all forms of dance and has won many State and Australian titles in Irish Dancing. A regular performer with The Wiggles on TV and DVD, Ryan features as the Junior Purple Wiggle, in the ABC series Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle; as well performing in the Emma series. Stages is fascinated by the extraordinary talents expressed by young triple threats in the navigation of these narratives. How does one so young achieve such detailed, mature and skilful performance? George and Ryan provide an insight to the work, commitment and drive of these young thespians. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where all good podcasts are found.