A GWENT musical theatre group are changing the mould when it comes to amateur theatre as they prepare for their latest production before losing any more members to top drama schools.

WAWWA are currently in rehearsals for their latest production, The Witches of Eastwick.

Founder and director, Jay Coleman, said: “It’s an incredibly cleverly written story. We are really proud to have a lot of the old gang back. It’s a stunning cast. And they really do fly.”

The 45-year-old from Cwmbran founded the company 18 years ago. He said: “I fell into WAWWA by accident. I did a charity concert in the Congress and that first production was called We are what we are.”

And he hasn’t looked back since. Mr Coleman also founded Musical youth UK, which has nine hubs.

“Musical theatre is my life.”

The group rehearse weekly in Pontnewydd in Mount Pleasant Hall and put on two shows a year. Previous cast members have gone on to now work on the West End, in Les Misérables and Jersey Boys. Many members have gone on to prestigious drama schools including Urdang, Guildford School of Acting, East 15, Laine and Mountview Academy.

Mr Coleman said: “It’s definitely a group to join if you want to further your career. We work with a lot of professionals. We don’t just make do, we produce everything to a high standard.

This is not amateur theatre as you know it. I get people come up to me after performances and say I can’t believe what I just watched was am dram.”

Linda Urrutia has helped out with the club for a few years, after her daughter Alice was a cast member before getting a place at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

She said: “If your heart’s in the theatre then WAWWA is the place to come.

“We’ve got two shows coming up. Rent in September and then Ghost in 2015.”

The group which was originally just for youth has recently opened up to all ages.

“Many of our youth wanted to stay on or come back.”

The school have auditions, but as long as you can sing, they’ll teach you the dancing and acting, says Ms Uruttia.

The show is in the Dolman Theatre, May 28-31. Visit wawwa.co.uk