A WEST End wannabe has had to pull out of West Side Story as he looks set for the big time.
Warren Sollars was due to play one of the principles in the electrifying musical set against 1950s gang warfare showing at the Gateway Theatre next month.
But now Warren appears to have excelled in a Channel 4 talent search show called Musicality with the possibility he may get the opportunity to star in a one-night only performance of Chicago in the West End which would be his lucky career break.
Castaway Youth Theatre, which is producing the show, wishes their protege well and has been able to offer the part to another talented youngster, AJ Caldwell, who will take on the role of Riff.
George and Karen Partington run Chester-based Stagecoach Theatre Arts company which is linked to Cast-away.
Mr Partington said Channel 4 and Warren were remaining tight-lipped about just how well the youngster had got on but he's optimistic.
He said: 'Warren can't make the show. That means he can't come and see us in the week this thing is climaxing. We think he's got right through to the end.'
Warren, who hails from Saltney, is a member of the increasingly successful local boy band 3/Style alongside his brother Ashley, who has played Peter Pan for Castaway Productions, and Themba Mvula who was Fizzy in Bugsy Malone.
Mr Partington said of Warren: 'He's good looking, he can sing really well, dance really well. He's got everything and he's a good actor as well.He's got a good chance of going really far.'
Musicality seeks to discover from a field of raw amateur performers - a gifted few who will take over the leading roles in the musical Chica -go for one spectacular night. The show - recorded at London's Adelphi Theatre on November 25 and broadcast two days later - will be the finale of the search that began at the start of the year when 2,000 hopefuls applied.
Warren is not the only star emerging from the area. Five-year-old Jonathan Blackburn from Heswall, who attends Stagecoach, has just taken part in shooting a TV film, Big Dippers, on Merseyside starring Cold Feet actor James Nesbitt and Cutting It's Pearce Quigley.
Mr Partington said: 'He's the most amazing little character, which you would understand if you met him.'
Jonathan plays a child who gets kidnapped and Nesbitt and Quigley portray petty criminals who stumble across the £2 million ransom money in a suitcase. The comedy-drama, which will be broadcast on ITV1, follows the antics of the kidnappers as they try to get their money back.
His mum Susan said her son loved the experience. She added: 'He's a right chatterbox. He seems a lot older than what he is. He just takes everything in his stride.'
Members of Stagecoach are also starring in Scrooge at The Palace Theatre, Manchester, alongside Tommy Steele, which is on this Christmas.
Tickets are now available for West Side Story which runs from November 16-20. Book on-line at: www.chestergateway.co.uk or ring the box office on 01244 340392.