A DANCE graduate from Havering College of Further and Higher Education has landed a dream role in Matthew Bourne's Lord of the Flies production at Sadler's Wells.
Aston Joshua is one of 24 young male performers who will be dancing alongside professionals in a contemporary ballet re-telling William Golding's classic story about a group of abandoned boys.
The 21-year-old is now being put through his paces with a boot camp and rehearsals to prepare for the four night run which opens at Sadler's Wells on October 8th.
Aston, from Ilford, has been chosen from more than 900 hopefuls after making it through a series of auditions which followed a Lord of the Flies workshop held at the Havering College Ardleigh Green Campus in Hornchurch, Greater London, in June.
He said: "The audition process was pretty tough. The final audition was before a panel. When they rang me the same day to say I had got a part in the London cast, I was shocked and didn't have any words. I couldn't really believe it. It is a dream come true and means a lot to me."
Aston initially completed a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance at Havering College before progressing on achieve HNC and HND qualifications in Dance.
Aston, a former pupil of Warren Comprehensive School in Chadwell Heath, said: "I have always been a hard working person, determined to get what I want. If I am doing something, I make sure I do my best.
"It will be an honour to dance on stage at Sadler's Wells. It is one of the most prestigious theatres in the land with so much history. Rehearsals are hard work but I am loving every minute of it. Every day is something new and exciting and I am meeting new people. It's a fantastic experience and I would like to thank my tutors at Havering College for giving me the opportunity to take part in the Lord of the Flies workshop at the college. "
Adapted and directed by Matthew Bourne and Scott Ambler, Lord of the Flies was first created in Scotland as part of a project to encourage boys into dance. It was so successful that Bourne's company New Adventures and its education arm Re:Bourne decided to roll the programme out to other cities, including London.
Havering College curriculum manager for Dance, Elaine O'Connor said: "The whole team are so proud of Aston. This is a fantastic achievement. Lord of the Flies will create links within the industry for him. This is well deserved because Aston just works so hard. I always saw great potential in him."
Three more Havering College Dance students also did extremely well in getting through to the final 65 of the Lord of the Flies casting process. They are: Adam Sainsbury, 21, from Romford; Daniel Lindsay, 18, from Barking and Carl Merritt, 18, from Collier Row.
Havering College holds Artsmark Gold status from Arts Council England in recognition of its commitment to, and excellence in arts education.