ASPIRING actors took to the stage when the University of York’s high-tech theatre opened to local young people for the first time.

Around 165 children, aged seven to 17, performed as part of York Stagecoach’s end-of-year productions on Saturday, with a further 80 younger children taking part in fun sessions.

The theatre is part of the new £30 million Department of Theatre, Film and Television building and has the same design as the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, boasting the latest technology.

Stagecoach was given access to the dressing rooms, production office, rehearsal space and foyer to welcome the audience.

Sally Thrussell, principal of York Stagecoach, said it was a fantastic opportunity for the students to perform in a world-class venue.

Carole Dove, commercial director of Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television, said: “We hope the experience will inspire them to a career in theatre and to consider higher education in the future.”