Young Warwick actor to star in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

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A young actor from Warwick is set to star in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the musical.

Nine-year-old Hayden Polanco from Warwick and Josh Sweeney from Leicester will be sharing the role of ‘Benji’ in the musical, when it heads to the Curve Theatre in Leicester from October 28 to November 2.

11-year-old Josh Sweeney from Leicester will be sharing the role of 'Benji' with Hayden Polanco from Warwick for the Leicester showings of the musical. Photo submitted.

11-year-old Josh Sweeney from Leicester will be sharing the role of 'Benji' with Hayden Polanco from Warwick for the Leicester showings of the musical. Photo submitted.

Hayden and Josh landed the part after attending an audition with the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts (PQA), whose exclusive agency for children and young performers, Quirky Kidz Creative Management, is the official children’s casting director and child management team for the show.

There will be 54 boys playing Benji throughout the UK tour. They have the opportunity to work closely with a professional cast including Joe McFadden.

Hayden attends All Saints' Church of England Academy in Leek Wootton, and trains at weekends at PQA Warwick, where he takes classes in comedy and drama, musical theatre and film and television.

Hayden said: “I’m super happy and excited.”

Hayden’s mother, Angela Polanco, said: “I’m so proud of Hayden and excited to see him perform."

11-year-old Josh Sweeney attends Stoneygate School and trains at weekends at PQA Leicester, where he also takes classes in comedy and drama, musical theatre and film and television.

Josh said: “This is probably the biggest opportunity I have had and I’m really excited to see what happens in the future.”

Josh’s mother, Tanya Sweeney, added: “This is so exciting for Josh. His dream is to attend drama school and to become an actor.”

Kristie Sicolo, head of Quirky Kidz Creative Management, said: “We’re really excited for Hayden and Josh to be performing in this hit UK Tour. It’s a brilliant production with a great cast and crew. Benji is a lovely role for the boys to take on. We wish them lots of luck.”

Based on the Oscar-winning film, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical is the adventure of three friends who hop aboard an old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime.

Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.

The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever before, featuring a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife, Finally and many more.

For details of the tour, visit: https://priscillauktour.com/tour-dates/