Prestwich actors star in Snow White for sick children

Bury Times: J-Star member Alexandra Darkin, aged six, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis J-Star member Alexandra Darkin, aged six, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis

ACTORS from a theatre school in Prestwich are doing a star turn for two poorly youngsters.

Staff and pupils from J-Star Academy of Performing Arts, based in Warwick Street, are staging ‘Snow White’ twice in a day, with ticket proceeds going to two charities.

The causes are associated with two of their young members: Alexandra Darkin, aged six, from Blackley, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that affects the lungs; and Zara-Lily Shaw, aged six, from Prestwich, who is recovering after treatment to remove a brain tumour.

Proceeds will go towards the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and When You Wish Upon A Star, which arranged for Zara-Lily to go to Disneyland Paris last year after she wished to see some real life princesses.

The academy’s managing director Jaynie Powsney, who will be playing the evil Queen Caligula, said: “Both girls are a real inspiration to the other children and I really admire their fighting spirit.

“We had a lot of sad moments in 2013 so we decided to put on this pantomime to cheer everyone up and raise some money for two excellent causes in the process.

“It is a very funny production and the pupils are very excited at the prospect of seeing all the staff, who are usually the ones telling them what to do, so they will get their revenge on the day.

“There are 27 people in the cast, mostly J-Star staff and some pupils. It will be a really good day and we hope as many people as possible come.”

Jaynie added: “When Alexandra first came two years ago, she didn’t say a word for two years as her illness knocked her confidence, but she has gradually become more confident and she is a brilliant little dancer and chats a lot.

“She has been in hospital recently but she is a great battler and we are honoured that she is with J-Star.

“It was wonderful what When You Wish Upon A Star did for Zara-Lily and this is our way of giving something back to them in her honour.”

The shows will take place at 2pm and 5.30pm on Saturday, January 25, at Middleton Arena in Corporation Street, Middleton.

Tickets cost £10 adults and £7 under 14s.

For tickets or more information: call 07970 770 562 or email

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