King’s Ely student Billy, 16, wins place at National Youth Music Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:30 01 April 2020

King’s Ely sixth form student Billy Pinto has won a place at the National Youth Music Theatre. Picture: KING’S ELY

King’s Ely sixth form student Billy Pinto has won a place at the National Youth Music Theatre. Picture: KING’S ELY


A King’s Ely sixth form student has been called up by the renowned National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) to star in one of their shows.

Billy Pinto is due to feature in ‘Imagination’ by Timothy Knapman and Stuart Matthew Price at the CURVE Theatre in Leicester in June.

Billy, 16, has also been invited to participate in other events and performances, such as the NYMT Christmas concert in London.

“I feel so excited and privileged to have been selected,” Billy, who got his first taste of musical theatre in year seven, said.

“There were two rounds of auditions. Auditions are held all over the country and I attended one in Cambridge.

“We were asked to prepare a musical theatre song to perform at the audition and we had to participate in a dance and an acting session. Then there were call-backs specifically for the productions being put on this year and I was called back for two of these.

“I didn’t expect it at all as it was my first year of auditioning and I’ve heard that often people audition four or five times before they are cast in a production.”

To say that Billy is a familiar face in productions at King’s Ely would perhaps be an understatement.

The sixth form student has played roles such as Mr. Hopkins in ‘Made in Dagenham’, Oliver in ‘Oliver’, Doody in ‘Grease’ and Arkin in ‘Ugly Youth’, which earned a five-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.

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Billy, who studies drama, history and French at A-level and has been at the school since 2006, said this role is the first he has earned outside of school, and without the support from staff, he may not have been able to achieve this feat.

“NYMT was the first time I have done any drama or theatre outside of school - that’s partly why I’m so pleased to have been given a role!” he said.

“I really enjoy drama at King’s Ely. The teachers in the drama department are brilliant and so are the other pupils, so it feels like we are a real team.”

He added: “Every King’s Company show is produced to such a high level, which feels very professional.

“If I can get good enough A Level grades, I would like to go to university in Edinburgh before going on to drama school. Then I want to become a stage actor.”

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