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The Wessex Factor hunts for Dorset’s best talent

Britain’s Got Talent may be over for another year but a local charity is giving performers in Bournemouth and Poole a chance to shine.

Wessex Heartbeat is launching its very own search for a star as it opens up its Wessex Factor talent competition.

The charity is looking for choirs, magicians, dancers and performers of all types to take part in the event. And, just like Britain’s Got Talent, the winner will get the chance to take part in the performance of a lifetime.

They will earn themselves a slot performing at Mayflower Theatre in February, where they’ll share the bill with some of the biggest stars in musical theatre. They will take to the stage as part of Wessex Heartbeat’s annual variety performance and, while the line-up is yet to be announced, it’s expected to include a major West End performer as well as popular acts from across the region.

John Munro, chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for an individual or group to take their act to the next level. They’ll be performing on one of the biggest theatre stages outside of London to an audience of up to 2,274, alongside some top acts. We know there is so much talent out there in the Wessex region and we hope acts from Bournemouth and Poole will sign up in their droves.”

The Wessex Factor, supported by local firm Thomas Sanderson, will comprise a series of heats in Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth throughout November. The top three acts from each will earn a spot in the grand final in December, where one performer or group will be crowned the ultimate Wessex Factor winner. They, along with the runner up, will both get a place performing at the variety show.

The grand final will be judged by a panel of industry judges including Mayflower Theatre’s chief executive, Michael Ockwell.

He said: “As a theatre we’re always keen to support new acts and performers so we’re thrilled to be a part of The Wessex Factor. We’re looking forward to seeing all the acts and can’t wait to see who’ll earn a spot here on our stage.”

The competition is open to acts of all types, from individual singers and musicians to school choirs, local dance groups and more.

Heats take place at:

  • 5th November – St Mary’s Independent School, Southampton
  • 7th  November-St Mary’s Independent School, Southampton
  • 9th November-St Mary’s Independent School , Southampton
  • 25th November-Jellicoe Theatre, Poole College, Poole
  • South Downs College – Waterlooville (date TBC)

All money raised will go to support Wessex Heartbeat’s life-saving work in the region. It costs £10 to enter per act and entries are open until October 1. To enter email ken@heartbeat.org.uk or call 023 80 706095.