CASTING lovable rogue Artful Dodger was not as much of a hardship as it might have been for Starlight Musical Theatre.
The Inverness company has its very own cheeky scamp to fill the role of the junior pickpocket in the form of teenager Dan Corr.
"Dodger is quite a fun character. I’ve been told he’s a lot like me, so he’s quite easy to play," the 13-year old Alness Academy pupil admitted.
"We share the cheekiness, just trying to do stuff we probably shouldn’t be doing and messing about and not paying attention to people. Just basically what I do on a daily basis.
"That makes it a lot easier for me than it would be to play Oliver — I know I couldn’t be like that! I’d last maybe two hours!"
Which is why Dan was so set on auditioning specifically for Dodger in the company’s version of the Lionel Bart musical Oiliver!
"If I didn’t, I was scared I’d end up with a character like Oliver or just be in the chorus and I don’t want to be in there. I quite like to stand out," he confessed.
Yet Dan had never considered performing at all until a team from Eden Court turned up at school to introduce its pupils to dance and find potential recruits for leading choreographer Matthew Bourne’s version of Lord of The Flies at Eden Court.
They found one in Dan, who joined young dancers from across the north of Scotland, including others who were new to dance, who performed alongside the professionals of the Re:Bourne Dance Company on the stage of the Inverness theatre.
"I wasn’t going to do it, but mum and dad persuaded me to," Dan admitted.
Despite this, Dan took easily to dancing alongside the professionals.
"I never really got nervous — I don’t get nervous for shows. I don’t know what it is, because everyone around me does. Once you’ve finished and everything goes back to normal, that’s the hard bit," he said.
He also appeared at Eden Court earlier this year as part of the theatre’s Spring Into Eden showcase, as the first boy to be part of Eden Court Young Dance Company, but his role in Oliver! does not just depend on his dancing skills. Acting and singing ability is also required to bring Charles Dickens’ popular character to life.
"There’s a lot more to this," Dan acknowledged.
"I’m still trying to get used to it because I’ve never sung in public before, it’s just all been dance related. But it’s a good change — it’s nice.
"On their own, singing, dancing and acting are easy. It’s putting them together that’s the hard bit.
"But it’s all easy when you’ve got a good cast around you."
Performing is far from the only outlet for Dan’s energy.
When not on stage, he can often be found on the rugby pitch or the golf course. But is performing rivalling sport for his attention?
"I wouldn’t say it’s taken over, but it’s certainly become one of the main priorities," he acknowledged.
There has also been a bit of a change in Dan’s thoughts about a future career, as Dan acknowledges becoming professional is now a possibility. I have considered it, but there is other stuff I want to do. I’d quite like to be a marine vet or a marine biologist."
• Starlight Musical Theatre present Oliver! at the Empire Theatre, Eden Court, from Wednesday 12th to Saturday 16th August at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.