BUDDING board-treaders at a theatre company in Hanbury have been getting some top tips from stars of the West End stage.

The youngsters at Starbuck Theatre Company have been visited every week this term by actors who have performed in UK tours of Footloose, American Idiot and Jerry Springer The Opera among others.

The 'West End Workshops' have seen actors teaching the youngsters different skills, ranging from stage combat and mask work, to specific routines from West End shows they have starred in.

Artistic director Sarah Pavlovs said: "I like to give my students the chance to work with lots of industry professionals, allowing them to gain skills in working with different inspirational people, learning from their passions which have helped them to create a career for themselves in this industry.

"I've run one-off workshops before in past years with actors, but this seemed an excellent way to give all the students in the company the opportunity to work alongside these incredible people.

"I truly believe it's important for students to see and experience as much about the industry as they can.

"One, if they want to make a career of it they are gaining tremendous skills and talking to people living it, and, two, even if they don't want to be a performer, it's teaching them skills they can take into their lives, such as teamwork, and communication skills and building confidence - all while having lots of fun with their friends.

"They have nine different amazing people working with them this term and I feel so grateful to all who have come, or are coming along to work with Starbuck Theatre."

The Youth Company put on shows each year ranging from Rent to Sister Act to The Addams Family Musical - for more details, visit www.starbucktheatrecompany.co.uk

Actor Joshua Dowen worked with the students for two weeks and said: "It's been an absolute pleasure working with the kids at Starbuck.

"From the juniors to the seniors everyone who attends has a ton of talent and individuality and it will be this that sees them flourish in the future."

Fellow thespian Matt Bond added: "Coming together as an ensemble to work on a piece with an experienced practitioner is invaluable for young and developing performers.

"They learn how to express themselves as a group as well as individually and this is an important skill to have in musical theatre."

Ben Hopkins, a Starbuck member, aged 17, said: "Having different actors from completely different backgrounds has really broadened my understanding as well as helped challenge me physically and mentally."