THE budding musical stars of West Fife are being given the chance of a lifetime to appear in a new production of the West End smash hit stage show, 'Billy Elliot'.

The Youth Music Theatre Scotland (YMTS) will be working with local youngsters for two weeks in Dunfermline giving them invaluable tutoring and coaching before they put on performances of the musical at the Alhambra Theatre.

These school holidays could be the start of something big for all those taking part.

It promises to be a fantastic experience for the young people involved and places on the Billy Youth Theatre are still available.

And the Alhambra and YMTS have joined up with the Press to offer five places which are up for grabs in this week's great competition. The project is open to nine to 19 year-olds and runs from 17th to 31st July.

Janet Robertson, founder of YMTS, said, "With the support of the London team we are delighted to bring Billy's story to the heart of central Scotland.

"The conflicts and challenges of the 1980s miners' strikes resonate clearly in any community with a mining heritage and in Fife we are in an area shaped and changed by these very real and recent events.

"The passion and power of the arts to change and move lives is the core message of Billy Elliot - it could be dance, it could be music, it could be writing, it could be visual art.

"It is all about expressing, communicating and empowering and we very much hope our young company's performance brings fresh focus to the emotional journeys of every Billy Elliot, past, present and future." Alhambra trust chair Bill Fletcher said, "Projects like this are vital to the future of the Alhambra.

"Since we've opened we've been able to bring shows that have never been seen before in this area.

"We're attracting major shows but it is also very important that we work with the community and in particular the young people who are the customers and performers of the future and this project will create tremendous opportunities.

"We also hope the West Fife public will come out to see the show and encourage the efforts of the youngsters." Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of one boy's dream to realise his ambitions against the odds.

In November, the Press told the remarkable story of West Fife's very own Billy Elliot, Inverkeithing pensioner Tom Douglas.

As a young man he left his home in Rosyth for a glittering career in ballet which saw him dance with Dame Margot Fonteyn and alongside Rudolph Nureyev. Tom (82) will pass on his expertise to the Billy Elliot youngsters.

A recent opportunity for local people to take part in a Les Miserables masterclass proved to be a great success.

Mr Fletcher said, "The 50 people who took part ranged from experienced amateur dramatic performers to people with no experience at all but who just loved the music.

"They went through the masterclass then appeared here on stage and they're still buzzing about it." To win a place in Billy Elliot the Musical simply write in no more than 50 words why you want to take part and what talents would make you suitable.

Entries to Billy Elliot competition, Dunfermline Press, Pitreavie Business Park, Dunfermline KY11 9QS or by email to to arrive by Tuesday and with address and a contact phone number.