YORK Musical Theatre Company travel through the Disney decades in When You Wish Upon A Star, a magical new show from Paul Laidlaw, from Thursday until Saturday.

Among the cast will be 21-year-old Eleanor Leaper, newly returned to her home city after studying music at Bristol University, from where she headed to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer for a sold-out run at theSpace Triplex with the a cappella group The Bristol Suspensions.

After YMTC’s success with devised shows such as Something Wonderful, Hooray For Hollywood, Coward And Cole and Happy & Glorious, director Laidlaw turns his imagination to Disney’s world at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York.

“The timeless songs, characters and films that Disney has created over the many years since the first creation of Mickey Mouse 90 years ago have charmed and enthralled children and adults the world over,” says Laidlaw, who promises to “bring the magic of Disney to York in a unique way”.

“We shall be journeying through the decades of Disney that have enchanted audiences of all generations from Steamboat Willie in 1928 up to the hits of today such as Moana and Frozen,” he says.

“Along with the brilliant work done by Walt Disney’s team of creative artists, designers, writers and voice artists, there is no question that the success of his animated and live action films owed a great debt to the talented composers who provided the songs and scores which made his films so memorable.

“From Frank Churchill through the Sherman Brothers to Elton John and Alan Menkin, a team of dedicated and inspired men provided some of the most romantic, witty, beautiful and exuberant songs ever to appear on the silver screen.”

Eleanor Leaper is delighted to be in the company, ahead of auditioning for a Masters degree in London, ideally at the Royal Academy of Music, later this year. In the meantime she is doing a 9 to 5 job in York and teaching at the Razzamataz Theatre School, as well as taking part in When You Wish Upon A Star.

“Paul Laidlaw has compiled the show, like he did last year for YMTC’s Rodgers and Hammerstein show, Something Wonderful,” says Eleanor, who is joined in the cast by sister Natalie, 16, now studying theatre among her A-levels at Joseph Rowntree School.

“This time the show spans the entire Disney songbook, starting with The Mickey Mouse Club and Snow White, right up to Frozen and Tangled, and it works in six or seven-song sections, arranged by Paul."

Disney’s fairytale characters may play to stereotypes, but fair-maiden Eleanor says: “I can’t complain too much because I get all the Princess songs. So I’ll be singing Part Of Your World, A Whole New World, Someday My Prince Will Come...all the ‘sopranoey’ floaty ones.”

Why have Disney’s films remained so popular, Eleanor? “Fairytales are passed down through the years and the music in the films really does stick. Everyone can hum along to the songs, and the composers Disney choose always move with the times, so Disney keep reinventing themselves, and that's why songs in Tangled, for example, are pop songs with guitars.”

One particular joy of participating in When You Wish Upon A Star is the chance to perform so many Disney songs in one show. “You can never really get the rights to a full Disney production, because they’re such high-budget shows and it’s always years before the right become available, so it’s great to be able to do all these songs,” says Eleanor.

Look out for her next stage appearance, playing the Narrator in York Stage Musicals’ Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, alongside fellow Narrator Stephanie Bolsher, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre from October 31 to November 3.

Tickets for this week’s 7.30pm evening performances and 2.30pm Saturday matinee are on sale at £14, with a family ticket offer available, on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.