Antrim girl recognized as "major talent" in Hamilton-style musical

Aiken, Keira

Bully - A New Musical was written and composed by Keira Aiken, who was just 14 years old.

Keira has been praised as a "major new talent" by the author whose book the musical is based on, and her contemporary musical in the vein of mega-hit Hamilton is now set to hit the stage.

The then-15-year-old student claimed to have discovered Bully by Yvonne Coppard in a box in her home's attic.

Inspiration then emerged.

She told BBC News NI, "I knew I wanted to write a musical for a really long time, but I didn't know what to base it on.

Keira speaks to director Ryan Moffett about the script for her musical
Keira, seen here with director Ryan Moffett, is confident that teenagers will connect with her musical.

"I believed that it might be simpler if I had a story to work from in advance, and I believed that the novel would be a really fantastic place to start.

"I believe that young people would identify with the themes. ".

Keira, who is taking her GCSEs, contacted the author to ask permission to transform the book into a contemporary musical.

She "immediately impressed" Ms. Coppard, who also praised her ideas, commitment, and self-assurance.

Even for an experienced composer/director, adapting a book for the stage as a musical requires a significant creative leap, she said.

A copy of the script for Bully - A New Musical
This month, Bully - A New Musical will be presented in Larne.

"I am overjoyed that Keira did it, and I wish the production nothing but success.

"I have a hunch that the audience will see the emergence of a significant new talent. ".

The musical is currently in rehearsal for its Saturday, February 25, performance at the McNeill Theatre in Larne, with all ticket sales benefiting the NSPCC.

For the first time ever, according to Ryan Moffett of Uplift Performing Arts, a teen wrote the script and created the music for one of his productions.

When I first read the script, I was very impressed. For a 14-year-old, it was a fantastic accomplishment, said Ryan.

Michael Aiken
Michael, Kiera's father, is "ridiculously proud" of what she has accomplished.

It almost seems as though it has been influenced by recent musicals like Hamilton and In the Heights.

"The book has been made into a contemporary rap musical with a crucial message for kids. ".

Keira has been involved at every stage, from auditions to direction, despite not being one of the 16 cast members.

According to her father Michael Aiken, he didn't anticipate it going on stage, as reported by BBC News NI.

He continued, "She plays a variety of instruments and has always composed music.

"We assumed that this was just another immature teen project that would fail.

"But it's daunting, but we're also ridiculously proud, that it has legs and will appear here in a few weeks.

. "

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