TALENTED young dancers from Bolton will grace the stage tonight in a thrilling new dance production of a classic novel.

World-renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne chose 24 boys and young men, out of 600 hopefuls, to appear alongside professionals in Lord of the Flies.

The dance spectacular is being staged at The Lowry, Salford Quays, from tonight until Saturday.

The action is transferred from a deserted island to a deserted theatre where a group of schoolboys find themselves abandoned.

With no adults around they start to make their own rules and create their own civilisation, before order breaks down and the story builds to an electrifying climax.

Over the past few months, the dancers have taken part in workshops and auditions as part of The Lowry’s large-scale project to find the best fresh dance talent in the region.

Connor Wells, aged 12, who goes to Canon Slade School, has been dancing for six years including ballet, modern and tap.

He said: “I felt really happy because I never thought I would get through.

“I never even thought I would get to the auditions, never mind the actual show. The rehearsals are going really well.”

Proud parents Warren and Lynn, of Astley Bridge, are looking forward to cheering on their son in the show, based on the story by William Golding.

Connor, who has lessons at Theatre Dance Studio, Halliwell Business Park, added: “Being with the professional dancers, it’s a bit of a big thing.

“When I was told I got in it, it kind of felt like an earthquake. My body just shut off.

“I thought, I’m in one of Matthew Bourne’s shows, it’s a big deal — let’s do it.”

Other cast members from Bolton include Tom Watkins, aged 16, Christian Sebastian Cocking, aged 12, and Tom McKay, aged 11.

Tom, who lives in Halliwell with parents Emma and Warren, has been dancing for four years and also goes to Theatre Dance Studio.

The St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School pupil said: “At first, I was really shocked. I didn’t think I would get it, it’s a big step for me.

“I just can’t believe I’m working with Matthew Bourne. I would love to be a professional dancer.

“I like all different types of dance. I find it a challenge doing all different ones.”

Lord of the Flies is choreographed by Olivier Award-nominee Scott Ambler and adapted and directed by New Adventures’ artistic director Mr Bourne, creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, Swan Lake, and also Mr Ambler.