Personal Stories: Continuing a family tradition of performing
Maria Sweeney from Belfast on her passion for musical theatre
The 20-year-old doctor's receptionist is starring in Fortwilliam Musical Society's production of Sweeney Todd at Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey from March 31 to April 4.
Maria said: "Being a part of Fortwilliam Musical Society is definitely a family affair for me.
"My mother and grandmother have both been members for years.
"It was actually my granny who brought me along when I was only eight to be an orphan in Oliver - and I haven't looked back since.
"I love being part of such a welcoming society which has been prominent in my life and where I've made lasting friendships.
"It has instilled in me a passion for musical theatre which has only got stronger as I've got older - so much so that I went on to study musical theatre at college. Hopefully, one day I will get the opportunity to perform on a West End stage or beyond.
"When I heard we were performing Sweeney Todd this year I was ecstatic as it is also one of my favourite musicals.
"This production has been a great experience, especially as the cast this year are such great performers. I will be playing the "half-crazed Beggar Woman" which is great fun and not what the audience will expect.
"It has been a challenging journey working on this production.
"It has kept us on our toes but with a great story and excellent music I know the audience will be on the edge of their seats."