Conor treads the boards in ‘Oliver’

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Local lad Conor Cox will be treading the boards at the Grand Opera House this summer when he takes on the role of ‘Dodger’ in a production of the hit musical ‘Oliver’.

Hailing from Hillsborough, Conor, a student at Methodist College in Belfast, recently underwent an extensive audition process and was thrilled to land the role, which he will share with 14 year old Sam Gibson from Killinchy.

Conor will be joining over 200 other young people from throughout Northern Ireland in the seventh Summer Youth Project at the Belfast theatre,

Staged with kind permission of world renowned theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh, and supported by Coca Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland, the Grand Opera House invites you to ‘consider yourself part of the family’ for this classic Dickensian tale from Thursday July 27 to Saturday July 29.

“This is my first time doing the Summer Youth Project,” said Conor, “Although I have been in Oliver at Theatre at the Mill before so I think that will help.

“There were two rounds of auditions, At the first we had to do a dance and sing ‘Food Glorious Food’. For the second one it was a full day from 10am until 6pm and there were lots of call backs during the day.”

Conor was delighted when he found out he would play cheeky chappy Dodger, Oliver’s best friend in the show. “It is a good character,” he continued, “It’s a really funny part. I am really looking forward to it.

“There are three weeks of rehearsals so there will be a lot of work but it will be great fun.”

Ian Wilson, Grand Opera House chief executive, said: “The annual Grand Opera House Summer Youth Project, now in its seventh year, is a project we are extremely proud to produce.

“As well as developing young talent, the project teaches transferable life skills, such as team work and effective communication, while building the confidence in the young performers.”

Directed by Tony Finnegan, with musical direction by Wilson Shields and choreography by Rebecca Leonard, this production promises to showcase the very best of young talent from across Northern Ireland.

Tickets are priced from £13.75 - £22.25 and are available by visiting, or by contacting the Box Office on 02890 241919.