A YOUNG director who made his stage debut with Burnley’s Basics Junior Theatre has returned to the company to direct their latest production.

Richard Sanderson had his first taste of musical theatre at the age of eight, when his grandfather took him to watch Basics - then encouraged him to join the following year to be in The King And I.

Twenty years later and he’s making his Basics’ directoral debut.

Richard, 28, said: “I must have been on stage for 10 minutes. I caught the theatre bug, and stayed with Basics for the next 10 years. Another former member helping to shape the future of Basics is Andy Cooke, who took over the company’s running from Dennis and Sally Murtaugh at the start of the year.

He said: “Our promise to audiences is that Basics Junior Theatre school will uphold the professional standards we have demonstrated over the years, and we will continue to wow our audiences with the amazing talent of our young performers for many years to come - this year is no exception our senior performers present their biggest, brightest, boldest, most sparkling dance musical ever: The song and dance extravaganza that is 42nd Street.”

Richard added: “Dennis – who set up and ran the group until last year, our choreographer Kathy and many others are one of the main reasons for why I chose to continue as an amateur as, like them, I wanted to go on and teach others some of the skills I picked up.”

  • 42nd Street, Basics Junior Theatre, Burnley Mechanics, tonight until Saturday, 7.30pm. Tickets (£8/£10/£12) on 01282 664400.