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The man who would be George

Children from Victoria Primary and St Joseph’s Primary School were given a masterclass from some of the country’s top actors and writers at the launch of the musical Dancing Shoes: The George Best Story.

The launch, at George Best Belfast City Airport on Tuesday saw writers Marie Jones and Martin Lynch unveil Aidan O’Neill as the actor who will play George.

Dancing Shoes tells of the turbulent life of the football genius, from his childhood days kicking a tennis ball against a gable wall on the Cregagh estate, to a life of fame, fortune and controversy.

George Best Belfast City Airport is one of the prinicpal sponsors of the musical which will run in the Grand Opera House this summer. Writers and actors held a special workshop at the airport with the local children, who learnt some of the skills required in producing a musical, from scripting and story building to improvising and acting.

Ruth Kimbley, from George Best Belfast City Airport, said: “Everyone at the airport is excited to be involved with what promises to be the biggest production of the year. It’s fantastic that the actor who will play George and so many of the others involved are here today to work with children from our adopted schools.

“We are sponsoring the production company through our Community Fund, which aims to support valuable community projects. We want to help young people develop their skills and this is certain to be an inspirational experience for them.

“Who knows, we could even see some of them treading the boards of the theatre some day!”

The musical combines the talents of two of Northern Ireland's most popular playwrights, Martin Lynch and Marie Jones, with the songwriting skills of Glasgow's JJ Gilmour and Belfast's Pat Gribben.

Martin Lynch, whose company GBL is producing Dancing Shoes, said: “We are delighted to receive support from George Best Belfast City Airport for this show and to work with local children in whom we hope we can instill our love of writing and acting.

Directed by Peter Sheridan, Dancing Shoes will be staged in the Grand Opera House from July 28 until August 14 before travelling to other cities including Dublin and Glasgow.

Belfast Telegraph